A donkey-drawn wagon was rigged with an explosive device and detonated at the Gaza security fence on Tuesday morning. The explosion, which happened in the northern Gaza Strip is being blamed by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) on an unidentified Palestinian terrorist.
The explosive device, of which there is no available description, exploded when the donkey was approaching the security fence, instantly killing the animal. No people were harmed.
"This incident is yet another attempt by terrorists to conceal their operations using agricultural activities for cover," said the IDF spokesperson in a statement.
Other attacks using livestock have happened at the Gaza border, including a June 6, 2009, attempted attack near the Nahal Oz crossing when gunmen approached the security fence with several trucks and five horses carrying explosive devices. Several of the gunmen were wearing explosive suicide belts.
The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, part of a pro-Israeli NGO, reports that last week there were several incidents along the Gaza security fence, including the killing of a Palestinian civilian who approached the security fence by an IDF soldier.
Two mortar shells struck the Ashkelon Shore Regional Council building in Israel early Tuesday, the latest in a string of four rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip that have struck Israel in the past week.
In response to the attacks, on Tuesday night, the Israeli air force struck a tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip. A second tunnel was hit in the southern Gaza Strip. Both tunnels were less than a mile from the security fence. Israeli authorities say that the intended use of the tunnels was to infiltrate the country and attack Israeli civilians and Israeli soldiers.
The Defense Force (IDF) identified direct hits in both of the tunnel strikes.
According to an unconfirmed report from the Palestinian Authority-affiliated Ma'an News Agency, 15 Palestinians were injured in the attacks, some sustaining "critical" wounds. Ma'an said that Adham Abu Selmiyya, the media coordinator for Gaza medical services, told them the injured were evacuated to hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.
The recent spate of violence comes as a flotilla of activists backed and supported by Turkey, Greece, Ireland, and the UK approaches the Gaza Strip by sea this week. About 750 pro-Palestinian activists in passenger boats are expecting to arrive in Gaza by Saturday, in a bid to break through Israel’s embargo on the region.
The IDF says they hold Hamas as "solely responsible for terrorist activities" in Gaza.