Israel will settle accounts with anyone who harms its citizens or its soldiers, threatened Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday as a border police officer, shot dead on Saturday along the border with Gaza, remained in critical condition.
“We will settle the score with those who harm our troops and the citizens of Israel,” Bennett said at the opening of the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. He added that last week he visited the IDF’s Gaza division and left feeling that the military was well prepared for all possible scenarios.
Injured Border Police Officer – St.-Sgt. Bar-el Shmueli from Beer Yaakov in central Israel – enlisted in the IDF in 2019 and served as a sniper in the border police infiltration unit in the south. He underwent several surgeries at Soroka Hospital in Beersheva overnight Saturday and doctors said he remained in critical condition and was still intubated and sedated. “Considering the complexity of the injury, his life is still in danger,” said Dr Amit Frenkel, chief medical officer of the general intensive care unit at Soroka, on Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, Shmueli underwent another urgent surgery in Soroka.
An IDF investigation found that the terrorist who shot Shmueli fired three bullets, one of which hit Shmueli in the head as his commander and a member of his team stood next to him, according to him. Ynet. Hamas agreed to have guns during the riot on Saturday, according to the investigation. After an agreed signal, Hamas forces at the site stopped moving rioters away from the fence, allowing 400 rioters to cross the border with grenades and explosives.
The site barrier will be improved over the next few days and sophisticated methods will be added to neutralize disturbances on the fence.
Shmueli’s commanding officer, Chief Superintendent K, told 103FM that he was “a well-liked, sociable and professional fighter” who mentored new recruits.
– חדשות (@kann_news) August 21, 2021
“Having an armed terrorist with a gun in a crowd is not something we see regularly in unrest,” K said. ‘to the soldier with the weapon. ”
Asked about the force’s readiness for a scenario in which Palestinians try to hit an IDF soldier at point blank range, K. said this was an event they had prepared for.
Video shows Palestinians along the Gaza border fence this evening firing rifles at an IDF firing position. pic.twitter.com/WTln2UznEk
– Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) August 21, 2021
The attack was seen in a video shared on social media where dozens of Palestinians were seen gathering along the fence near Shmueli’s position. One of them was seen trying to snatch his weapon from him; although the Palestinian managed to grab the barrel, Shmueli managed to pull it out.
“The soldier retaliated and prevented the weapon he was holding in his hands from being taken away,” the IDF spokesman’s unit said.
In another video from the same incident, Palestinians are then seen throwing objects and hitting the barrel of the gun, then a rioter approaches Shmueli’s position and shoots him with a handgun.
The IDF opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Speaking to Israeli media, the officer’s parents called the event a failure in the military.
“There was obviously a mess there, how did they even get to the fence? Since when is it forbidden to shoot them? They came to kill him, it’s a big mess for the army, ”they said, adding that“ a riot must be properly dispersed. Why does my son have to go to the hospital because of a riot? “
His father said Shmueli, who was due to be demobilized in two months, was not supposed to be at the fence but was sent there to replace another soldier.
“Pray for him,” his father said. “Just let him live normally, that’s all I’m asking. “
שמואלי, של לוחם מג”ב בעזה לכאן חדשות: “כל עם ישראל שיתפלל לשלומו, לפחות שיחיה לא יותר מזה” @Itsik_zuarets pic.twitter.com/wESD6T8LEi
– חדשות (@kann_news) August 22, 2021
Following violent riots in which 41 Palestinians were injured, two of them seriously, the IDF carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip targeting four Hamas weapons and storage sites.
Israeli planes strike Hamas sites in Gaza after border clashes (Video credit: Reuters)
טוענים שנפלו בעיר קליעים מירי נ”מ של ארגוני הטרור ברצועה. כוח משטרה במקום. נער כבן 16 נפצע למרחב מוגן@Itsik_zuarets pic.twitter.com/yfbHK2UXzV
– חדשות (@kann_news) August 21, 2021
“Hamas continues to conduct the Gaza Strip in a policy of terrorism while exploiting the civilian population,” the IDF said, adding that it “will continue to respond firmly to terrorist attempts in the Gaza Strip and considers it terrorist organization Hamas as responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip. “
Following the violence along the border, the IDF deployed reinforcements in the Gaza division, declaring that “the troops are prepared for any development”.
Despite the unrest, trucks loaded with laptops, photocopiers and internet supplies entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday for the first time since Operation Guardian of the Walls, according to Palestinian media.
Islamic Jihad leader Ahmad al-Mudallal said on Sunday that the terrorist organization holds Israel “fully responsible” for the repercussions of any escalation.
“The enemy’s failure to implement the terms of the ceasefire is causing pressure on the Palestinian street, and the factions will in no way accept the continued siege of Gaza,” Mudallal added. “We will not accept any inaction from the mediators and we have sent several messages asking them to intervene and pressure the enemy to implement the terms of the ceasefire agreement.”