On February 17, the Israeli military announced that one of its patrols had been hit with an IED near the security fence south of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli sources revealed that the IED had detonated when the Israeli soldiers were trying to remove a Palestinian flag from the fence. According to the sources, at least three Israeli soldiers were injured in the IED attack.
— الإعلام الحربي المركزي (@C_Military1) February 17, 2018
The Israeli Army said that its battle tanks had shelled an observation post of Palestinian forces in the southern part of the Gaza Strip in response to the attack. The situation does not usually escalate when the Israeli Army immediately fires back, like in this case.
In response to the attack, an IDF tank targeted an observation post in the southern Gaza Strip
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 17, 2018
So far, no Palestinian armed group has claimed responsibility for the IED attack. However, Israeli sources believe that the attack was likely carried out by the Hamas Movement or the Islamic Jihad Movement, the two main armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
The area of the security fence around the Gaza Strip had witnessed several clashes between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli Army since the U.S. recognized Jerusalem city as the capital of Israel on December 7, 2017. Many Palestine protestors had been reportedly killed along the fence by Israeli soldiers. In response, Palestinian armed groups had launched several rockets on Israeli settlements north of Gaza.