Palestinians torch construction vehicle near Gaza frontier
JERUSALEM (AP) — Three Palestinians sneaked up to an Israeli construction vehicle near the Gaza security fence and set it ablaze on Wednesday, the Israeli military said. No one was hurt in the incident.
The men crossed a barbed wire fence inside Gaza but did not advance past the main security barrier along the frontier, the military said, adding that the three “returned to the Gaza Strip” after starting the fire.
The heavily-guarded frontier has been mostly quiet since the 11-day war last May between Israel and the Hamas militant group that controls the coastal territory.
In December, Israel announced the completion of a 65-kilometer (40-mile) barrier, including radar systems, maritime sensors and underground sensors to detect militant tunnels. Existing fencing was replaced with a 6 meter (6.5 yard) high “smart fence,” with sensors and cameras.
Israel and Hamas have fought four wars and dozens of skirmishes since Hamas seized power in Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007. During a 2014 war, Palestinian militants tunneled into Israel and clashed with Israeli troops.
Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza, which Israel says is needed to keep the group from rearming. Critics view it as a form of collective punishment of the strip’s 2 million residents.
Israel and Egypt have eased the restrictions since the war as the truce has mostly held.