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5 IDF soldiers lightly wounded by Hamas explosives in Gaza Strip in violation of truce

Incidents come amid intense negotiations to extend the truce

IDF soldiers operate in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

Several IDF soldiers were injured by explosive devices activated in Gaza by the Hamas terror group on Tuesday afternoon, the Israeli army announced, in the first clear violation of the truce agreement that was just extended by two days.

Three explosive charges were activated in two separate incidents, lightly wounding several Israeli soldiers.

“In one of the cases, shots were also fired at the force. As a result, several fighters were slightly injured. The fighters responded by firing at the sources of the gunfire,” according to the IDF statement.

“In both cases, the IDF troops stayed within the agreed ceasefire lines,” the statement added.

The army estimates that the explosive devices' charges were not left behind and activated by mistake, but remotely activated, indicating a conscious decision by the terrorists to take action, Army Radio reported.

In the first incident, two charges exploded close to the Rantisi Hospital in Gaza City, one hitting a Merkava Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) and one hitting a tank. One soldier was lightly wounded by shrapnel.

The second charge was activated close to a unit of reserve soldiers, who were also being shot at. Four soldiers were lightly wounded during the incident and the IDF troops responded by returning fire.

Shortly before the IDF released its statement, Hamas spokesman Abu Ubayda claimed that the IDF had violated the truce.

“As a result of a clear violation of the Hudna [truce] agreement by the enemy today in the north of the Gaza Strip, friction occurred on the ground. Our activists dealt with the violation. We are committed to the Hudna [truce] to the extent that the enemy is committed to it,” his statement read.

Following the incident, Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu party, called on the government to show strength vis-à-vis Hamas.

“We must stop operating according to a concept that has already collapsed, stop with the containment and concessions, and start looking after the Israeli interest,” Liberman stated.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called to end the truce after its violation by Hamas.

“I call on the prime minister not to ‘contain’ the detonation of the IEDs against our soldiers, and to order the IDF to return and crush Hamas with force," Ben Gvir said.

"We must not wait for our fighters to be killed, God forbid. We must once again act in accordance with the goal of the war: The total destruction of Hamas.”

The incidents occurred just hours after reports that Israel's Mossad Intelligence Director David Barnea was in Qatar to continue negotiations about a further extension to the truce in order to secure the release of more hostages, potentially including IDF soldiers.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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