The IDF force was on an operational mission to destroy a tunnel dug by Palestinian militants when it came under mortar fire.
Five Israel Defense Forces soldiers were wounded by Palestinian mortar fire late Thursday while on an operational mission inside the Gaza Strip.
The wounded soldiers, who suffered wounds of differeing degrees, were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.
According to IDF sources, the force was preparing to blow up a tunnel dug by Palestinian from Gaza into Israel when they were fired upon. The tunnel was discovered about three weeks ago..
The mortar fire was followed by heavy exchanges of fire between the IDF force and armed Palestinian militants, resulting in the death of at least one militant, according to sources in Gaza. Several wounded were also reported as a result of artillery shelling of Bani Suhela in the southern strip.
The incident was reported to have ended early on Friday morning.
Earlier, Gaza eyewitnesses reported seeing tanks and armored personnel carriers enter the territory, accompanied by attack helicopters. They said that exchanges of fire between the force and local militants continued into the night.
The area that the force penetrated was close to where a Palestinian tunnel was discovered by Israeli forces in October. An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces were carrying out “a pinpoint action” in the area of the tunnel, the Associated Press reported.
On Monday this week, Israel planes attacked two rocket launchers in Gaza in response to the firing of rockets in the direction of Ashkelon and the firing of mortars at the Eshkol region on Wednesday.