Israeli soldiers take position with a tank along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel in April
Israeli soldiers take position with a tank along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel in April 2011. Israeli soldiers detained five Palestinians trying to infiltrate the Jewish state from the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip on Sunday, a military spokeswoman said. © Jack Guez - AFP/File
Israeli soldiers take position with a tank along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel in April
AFP
Last updated: December 25, 2011

Palestinian infiltrators from Gaza seized

Israeli soldiers detained five Palestinians trying to infiltrate the Jewish state from the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip on Sunday, a military spokeswoman said.

"This evening the soldiers spotted and arrested three Palestinians who were trying to cross the security barrier separating Israel from the central part of the Gaza Strip" controlled by the Hamas movement, she told AFP.

"A little later, another two Palestinians were apprehended farther north in similar circumstances, and all five were taken for interrogation by Shin Bet," Israel's domestic security service, the spokeswoman added.

A military source said that soldiers fired two flares during the operations.

Earlier, the military said militants inside Gaza had fired two rockets and two mortar rounds at southern Israel, but no casualties or damage were reported.

"We identified two rocket launches from Gaza at Israel to the Eshkol and Shaar Hanegev regions Saturday night," a spokeswoman told AFP, adding two mortars were fired at Israel the evening before.

A police spokesman told AFP that a small number of mortar rounds have been fired at Israel during the past week.

Tensions between Gaza-based militants and Israel increased earlier this month, with groups in the coastal territory lobbing dozens of rockets and firing mortar rounds into southern Israel.

Israel's military hit back with air raids that killed two militants and two civilians.

The military frequently attacks Gaza in response to such rocket fire, at times targeting militants it says are about to fire rockets over the border, or carrying out raids against specific militants.

Israeli military officials have warned about the prospect of a future large-scale operation in the territory.

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