IDF officer Major Eliraz Peretz, deputy commander of the Golani Brigade’s 12th battalion, and Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky were killed in an exchange of fire with terrorists who were planting explosives along the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. Two other soldiers were wounded one moderately injured. After identifying the terrorists planting explosives, the force fired at them and identified killing two of the terrorists. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant said on Friday that, “The soldiers advanced in a proper operational manner and when the terrorists were seen moving westward, tanks that were stationed undercover opened fire. One of the terrorists approached the forces point blank and opened fire. In the clashes, one of the bullets fired in the soldiers’ direction hit a hand grenade that was on Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky’s vest, and as a result, the explosion killed him and injured two other soldiers. Another soldier was killed in another fire exchange in the area. In total, two soldiers were killed."
Galant further added: “These are events that take place every day. The soldiers are protecting the civilians of the nearby communities. Unfortunately, we paid a very hefty price this Shabbat eve and on the eve of the holiday."
More than ten Kassam rockets have landed in Israel in the last week. In response to the continued rocket fire, the Air Force has attacked Hamas terrorist targets. The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers will continue to take firm action against any party that tries to conduct terrorist attacks in Israel. The IDF views the Hamas terror organization as solely responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the preservation of peace.