Gaza violence escalates claiming victims

Published: Jan. 9, 2011 at 6:44 AM |  –

Islamic Jihad graduates demonstrate fighting skills in Gaza.

JERUSALEM, Jan. 9 (UPI) — An Israeli soldier was killed, four soldiers, three foreign workers and an Israeli driver injured in a spate of incidents along the Gaza border, the army said.

In a weekend of escalated violence, Sgt. Nadav Rotenberg, 20, of the Paratroopers Brigade was killed and four soldiers wounded Friday night in an operation to prevent Palestinians planting explosives near the Gaza border fence.

An initial investigation revealed that another military unit at the scene fired mortars at the terrorists. One of the mortars deviated from its target and struck and killed Rotenberg.

Four other soldiers wounded in the incident were hospitalized.

Saturday afternoon, three Thai workers were injured, one seriously when mortar shells exploded near their quarters on a kibbutz in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council district. The Islamic Jihad later claimed responsibility for the attack saying it targeted a military base, said.

Saturday evening, an Israeli truck driver was injured from shrapnel after a Qassam rocket exploded near his vehicle. Yitzhak Zaafrani, was hurt by glass shreds from a shattered windshield. Two other rockets exploded in southern Israel but caused no injuries or damage, the army said.

Palestinians in Gaza fired a Qassam rocket at the western Negev Sunday morning. The rocket exploded in an open area causing no damage or injury, the army said.

Gaza violence escalates claiming victims –