Hamas terrorists
Hamas terroristsIsrael news photo: Flash 90

IDF soldiers detected a group of PA terrorists late Thursday evening as they were attempting to place explosives on the border fence between Gaza and Israel, near the city of ​​Deir al-Balah which is located in the central Gaza region.

The IDF reported that the soldiers fired tank shells at the terrorists, who likely fled the scene. Military officials said no damage was detected.

Medical sources in Gaza later reported that four civilians were wounded as a result of the IDF attack. Witnesses said that three tank shells fired by the IDF landed an agricultural area, while a spokesman for the local rescue services in Gaza said that ambulances took the four to a hospital in Deir al-Balah.

The IDF confirmed the attack and the wounding of the civilians. The IDF Spokesperson said that the IDF regrets both the wounding of innocent civilians during the attack as well as the use of civilians as human shields by terrorists as part of their attacks on Israel.

Hamas often uses innocent civilians as human shields when carrying out terror attacks on Israel. A 2009 study by the Terror and Intelligence Information Center showed that Israel’s notifications to civilians in Gaza to leave populated locations before they are bombed are cynically used by Hamas for organizing human shields

The study found that when the IDF warns Arab civilians of an impending attack in their neighborhood, Hamas uses the information in order to organize the civilians into human shields in the hope of protecting the targets from the IDF's wrath.