The border between Israel and Gaza appears to be heating up again. This morning, Saleh Abu Latif, a 22-year-old Israeli Defense Ministry employee, was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper while repairing the fence between the Gaza and Israeli border. He was the first Israeli to be killed near Gaza since the end of last year’s Operation Pillar of Defense.
Abu Latif sustained a single bullet wound to his chest, according to initial reports. He was evacuated by helicopter to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, and died of his wounds during the evacuation.
In retaliation, IDF troops reportedly struck six targets inside of Gaza using the air force, infantry, and tank divisions.
The strike’s targets were a site to manufacture weapons, and a terrorism infrastructure site in southern Gaza, a center for terrorism activity and a terrorism infrastructure site in central Gaza, and two terrorism targets in the north of the Strip had been hit, according to the IDF.
According to Ma’an, the targets included a military strike belonging to the Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades between Khan Younis refugee camp and the city of Deir al-Balah and in the al-Atatra area of the northern Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials say a father and a toddler were among the dead. This exchange is one in a series of incidents in recent days, which are renewing fears about a broader conflict between Hamas-run Gaza and Israel.
On Sunday, a bomb on a bus in Bat Yam was spotted by a passenger and defused before it could cause any injuries. Yesterday, a Palestinian was shot and wounded while reportedly trying to place an explosive on the border fence between Gaza and Israel; additionally, a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel and an Israeli police officer was stabbed in the West Bank.
With peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians already on precarious footing, any further escalation could doom the talks.