On February 17, Israeli Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said in an official statement that Israel holds the Hamas Movement responsibility for an IED attack on a patrol of the Israeli Army south of the Gaza Strip. According to the statement, four Israeli soldiers were injured in the IED explosion. Two of them are currently in a critical condition.
Moreover, Lt. Col. Conricus accused the Hama Movement of organizing “fake demonstrations” along the security fence around the Gaza Strip in order to plant explosives and attack Israeli soldiers.
Hamas tactics of diverting attention away from own failures: 1)stage fake ‘demonstrations’ towards Israeli border 2)use kids and handicapped as pawns 3)throw grenades and bombs 4)place IEDs along fence 5)exploit in media.
— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) February 17, 2018
The Israeli Army spokesman also announced that warplanes of the Israeli Air Force had targeted a camp, a weapon factory and a tunnel of the Hamas Movement near the Khan Yunis area in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli airstrikes didn’t result in any casualties, according the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) February 17, 2018
In response to the Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian fighters shelled several Israeli settlements north of the Gaza Strip with rockets, according to local sources. Rocket warning sirens were heard in the Israeli-held areas around Gaza. However, no casualties were reported.
Several Palestinian armed groups including the Islamic Jihad Movement blessed the IED attack on the Israeli patrol. However, no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.