The Israeli army killed four armed Palestinian militants attempting to cross the Gaza border Saturday.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning when troops opened fire after one of the four armed men crossed the Gaza border into Israel and hurled a grenade, an Israel Defense Forces statement said.
They were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers and grenades, IDF statement said.
“A very large attack” has been prevented, military spokesman Brig. Gen. Romen Manelis said, adding that the militants’ remains are in Israeli custody.
Manelis also said that the armed men were an organized cell attempting to infiltrate the border and Hamas had the responsibility to prevent the crossing.
It’s unclear if the cell planned to target troops or civilians, but defense sources said that it was unlikely the planned attempt at crossing the border was staged without Hamas or Islamic Jihad knowing about it.
The attempted infiltration follows organizers cancellation of Friday’s weekly protests along the Gaza border because of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, beginning on Sunday.
Still, tensions escalated earlier in the week after Dvir Sorek, 19, a yeshiva student and off-duty IDF soldier was found stabbed to death in a terrorist attack outside a West Bank settlement.