Israeli Climbing Fence Into Gaza Shot Dead


idf-at-erez-crossingAn Israeli trying to cross into the Gaza Strip was shot dead this morning by Defense Ministry security forces stationed at the Erez crossing and an IDF force patrolling the area.

The incident occurred at around 1 a.m., when the 34-year-old resident of central Israel arrived by taxi to the area and tried to climb the border fence.

 The security forces, following arrest procedures, urged the man to stop, but he did not heed their calls and proceeded to climb the fence. When the man did not stop, the security forces opened fire. ne bullet that hit the main artery in his leg caused him to bleed to death.

After the initial shots that caused the man to collapse was fired, police sappers were alerted to the scene in order to determine whether the suspect was carrying an explosive device, as his identity was unclear and the forces suspected he was a terrorist. His suspicious behavior, including his attempt to climb the fence, strengthened this suspicion.

Forces in the area launched an investigation into the incident, and suspicion that the man was mentally unstable is being examined. The man’s body was transferred to the Abu Kabir Forensics Institute.

The security forces said after the incident that the man did not stop even when they fired warning shorts. Security sources noted that arrest procedures in such a case are similar to arrest procedures in the case of attempted infiltration into Israel. The forces added that the man was dressed in layers of clothing as well as a stocking cap, which made it difficult to identify him.

They said that in the event of a person trying to climb the fence in the night hours not stopping when ordered to, and not heeding warning shots, there is not choice but to fire at the suspect, as the incident is viewed as a possible terror attempt.

The sources added that in such a case, climbing the fence could be used as an attempt to distract security forces as part of broader terror activity, and that the forces fired in order to stop the man, not to kill him. The IDF and the Defense Ministry said after the incident that while it was an irregular incident, an initial probe shows that the force’s actions were impeccable.

Today’s incident was very unusual, as there are no past recorded incidents of Israelis trying to cross the border fence into the Gaza Strip.

{Ynet/Yair Israel}