Israeli Soldier Injured in Shootout with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip

An Israeli soldier was moderately wounded and a Palestinian gunman killed during clashes Sunday in the Gaza Strip.

The attack on the soldier took place after weeks of relative quiet in the territories, largely credited to the 3-month-old closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The wounded soldier was in a jeep patrolling the coastal road south of Deir el-Balah early in the morning when the vehicle was fired upon by gunmen in a passing car.

At least two weapons were used in the attack, a Kalachnikov automatic rifle and an M-16 rifle. A number of bullets struck the soldier, who was hospitalized at Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital with wounds in his chest and hand.

The army set up roadblocks throughout the area in an effort to catch the gunmen, who escaped in their car.

Shortly afterward, soldiers at one of the roadblocks spotted a suspicious car approaching and signaled for it to stop.

Instead, the driver opened fire as he drew near the roadblock. The soldiers returned fire, killing the Palestinian man inside the car.

The gunman was identified as Ibrahim Jamil Ahmad al-Wadi, 27, from the Khan Yunis area, who has long been on the wanted list for attacks against soldiers.

Wadi allegedly was a member of Izz a-Din al-Kassem, an armed wing of the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement.

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