[Tuesday December 24, 2013] Israeli military sources said that an Israeli military engineer has died of serious injuries, after being shot near the border fence with Gaza.Israeli sources said the engineer is employed by the Israeli Defense Ministry, and that the shot which killed him came from Gaza.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, has reported that no Palestinian armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack which killed the engineer near the Nahal Oz settlement. The engineer is from Rahat, south of the country, a town mainly inhabited by Bedouins.

The Israeli army said it appears a sharpshooter carried out the attack and fled the scene, and that no clashes took place following the shooting.

The military engineer was moved to the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva (Be’er As-Sabe’), where he died of his injuries.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the attack ‘is a very serious escalation’, and that Israel ‘would respond aggressively, Haaretz reports.

Ya’alon holds Hamas fully responsible for the escalation.

He further stated that Hamas must understand that the Israeli response would be ‘painful’, adding that ‘Hamas should not test Israel’s patience.

‘No calm in Israel means no calm in Gaza’, Ya’alon added.

Updated from:

Israeli Engineer Seriously Injured Near Gaza Border Fence
Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:22:31

[Tuesday December 24, 2013] An Israeli engineer was seriously wounded by a Palestinian sharpshooter, near the Nahal Oz military base, east of the Gaza Strip, Israeli military sources have reported.

The army said that the fire came from the Gaza Strip, and that the Israeli man was airlifted to the Soroka Israeli medical center, after suffering a chest injury.

The army added that it seems the sharpshooter “targeted workers conducting maintenance work on the security fence with Gaza, as the fence was partially damaged due to the recent snow storm”.

It also stated that it reserves “its right to retaliate to the attack”, and will act to protect its soldiers and civilians.

Dozens of soldiers and military vehicles started a large search campaign in the area, while several Israeli military helicopters and F16 war jets have been seen flying over the area, and in different parts of the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, at dawn, soldiers invaded a Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley, demolishing one home and four sheds.

On Monday evening, a Palestinian civilian was seriously injured by Israeli army fire, close to the border fence, in northern Gaza.

Between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, soldiers invaded various Palestinian communities in different parts of the occupied West Bank, kidnapping twelve Palestinians.