The three terrorists who infiltrated Israeli territory from Gaza this morning admitted under interrogation that they had intended to attack soldiers.

Earlier this morning, security forces conducted intensive searches throughout the Eshkol region near Gaza after finding footprints near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.

An hour and a half later, IDF forces apprehended three terrorists, members of one family who were armed with grenades and knives, near the Tze’elim army base in the Eshkol region, according to initial investigations.

IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis told reporters that the incident had "severe potential" and “shouldn’t have happened.”

He said that the terrorists had had several opportunities to attack soldiers which they did not exploit, and that they were currently being interrogated by Shin Bet security forces.

“We are investigating and will draw the appropriate lessons.”

Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni commented on the incident, noting that “The very fact of the infiltration and the apprehension of the terrorists near the Tze’elim army base is severe, and will be investigated by the army.”

“Even so, the capture proves the efficiency of security forces and the strength of spirit among our people, IDF soldiers and security personnel in communities who, from the moment they identified footprints in our territory, mustered all their strength until the terrorists were caught.

“I wish to thank security forces in the Eshkol Regional Council and in communities, who prevented a tragedy this morning, and bolster our security.”