JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian man who infiltrated into southern Israel from Gaza set a greenhouse on fire, causing hundreds of thousands of shekels in damage.
The man made it several hundred yards into southern Israel, reaching a community near Israel’s border with Gaza, on Friday evening, according to the Israel Defense Forces. He was caught and turned over to the Israel Security Agency, also known as the Shin Bet security service.
The IDF at first thought that the greenhouse caught fire from one of the flares used to find the man. But he later told his interrogators that he had set the fire. It reportedly is not the first time that this Gazan Palestinian man has infiltrated into Israel.
The community was identified in some Israeli media reports as in moshav Netiv HaAsara.
Udi Dreilich, the owner of the greenhouse, told Walla that his entire operation is now charred remnants.
“All my equipment was in the green house, the seeds for the crops are gone, and all the nets and nylon are burnt. I looked at the damage and it hurt my heart; it’s years of work,” he said. “The feeling that he managed to break through the fence and reach us is not good – it raises concerns. Our problem is that if someone managed to break through the fence, he could come to the community and carry out an attack. An hour earlier my workers were there and it could have end differently.”
The incident occurred as some 12,000 Gazans participated in protests near the border fence.
At least one protester was killed and 37 injured, according to the Hamas-run Gazan heath ministry.