On January 13, sniper fire targeted an engineer unit of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) north of the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
At first, an engineering vehicle – the armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer – that was operating near the security fence east of Khan Yunis was targeted by an unidentified sniper.
— Ahmad (@_ahmadalhindi) January 13, 2021
The IDF responded to the attack, which damaged the bulldozer, by destroying an observation post of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas Movement. The post was targeted by a battle tank.
Later, a second engineering vehicle operating in the same area was targeted by snipers. No casualties were reported. However, IDF tanks responded by firing at two posts of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
The attacks were likely provoked by the movement of Israeli troops. IDF bulldozers can be seen in a video shared by the Masdar News operating a few meters away from Palestinian farmlands in the vicinity of Khan Yunis.
Earlier, the IDF dropped leaflets over Khan Yunis warning Palestrina farmers that it will “remove” their crops, if they do not move them away from the security fence.
No group has claimed responsibility for the sniper attacks yet. Israel, however, held the Hamas Movement responsible. The situation will not likely escalate any further. Such incidents are common around Gaza.