Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Elul 28, 5774

Four Israeli Civilians Killed in Mortar Attack

July 28, 2014 By:
JTA
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An injured Israeli soldier is evacuated by helicopter from near the Israeli border with Gaza Strip on July 28, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

JERUSALEM — At least four Israelis were killed and several others were injured in a mortar attack in southern Israel.

The attack Monday afternoon occurred in Israel’s Eshkol region, located along the border with Gaza.

At least nine injured people were airlifted to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Two reportedly are in serious condition.

The Code Red siren did not sound; mortars do not usually set it off.

The killed and injured were visitors to the area, according to the Jerusalem Post, citing a spokeswoman for the Eshkol Regional Council. The head of the Eshkol Regional Council, Haim Yellin, called on Israeli civilians to stop visiting soldiers in the area. The first Israeli killed in the current conflict died while visiting soldiers near the Gaza-Israel border.

Roads into the area remain closed to traffic.

Also on Monday Israeli troops reportedly killed five Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated into Israel via a tunnel from Gaza.

The tunnel the Palestinians used terminated in the area of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, located near Israel’s border with Gaza.

Israeli residents living near the Gaza border were instructed to remain in their homes with the doors locked while Israeli troops swept the area for more infiltrators.

Hamas said in a statement that their gunmen had killed 10 Israeli soldiers in the firefight, according to Reuters. The statement also said that the infiltrators returned to Gaza safely.  The IDF has not responded to the statement. Israel’s Channel Two said five Palestinian infiltrators were killed.

There have been at least five other incidents of Palestinian assailants infiltrating Israel from Gaza during the current conflict.

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