Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered two Israelis Wednesday afternoon in an attack on the Nachal Oz Crossing fuel depot near the Karni Crossing into Gaza.
The attack began with a barrage of mortar shells aimed at the Gaza Belt communities of Nachal Oz and Alumim. As the mortar fire continued, local sources said terrorists infiltrated the Karni area and began shooting. A terrorist cell of some six to seven operatives used the cover of mortar fire to infiltrate through the depot, which Israel uses to deliver humanitarian aid and thousands of tons of fuel supplies to Gaza Arabs almost daily.
The terrorists then shot and killed the two Israelis before escaping back through the terminal to the Gaza side.
The murdered men were Oleg Lipson, 37, and Lev Cherniak, 53 - both from Be'er Sheva. Lipson was an oleh (immigrant to Israel) from Tashkent and was married with a son. Cherniak also made Aliyah from the Former Soviet Union and left behind a wife.
Palestinian Authority sources said three terror organizations claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out by members of the Islamic Jihad al Quds Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' Salah al-Din Brigades and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)'s Fatah faction's Mujadeen of the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades terrorist gangs.
Mortars to Martyrs in 60 Minutes
IDF forces went into action immediately, with Israeli Air Force pilots taking to the skies to carry out air strikes and IDF ground forces, including at least one tank unit, shelling terrorist targets in northern Gaza. Two of the terrorists were reportedly killed by a shell fired by a tank from the IDF's 401st Regiment.
The IDF confirmed Wednesday that it attacked a vehicle that was apparently escaping from the terror attack at Nahal Oz with two terrorists inside it. According to Al-Jazeera, the Israel Air Force attacked the vehicle as it was passing through the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza Wednesday afternoon. Medical personnel in Gaza said three people had been killed and six others were injured.
Israeli officials said the Hamas terrorist organization that has maintained a stranglehold on the region would be held responsible for the attack, regardless of which groups claimed responsibility. "We see in Hamas a complete and central figure in this attack and we put direct blame on them," said the IDF spokesman. "Hamas will pay the full price for this aggression."