Sgt. Eitan Barak (l), Sgt. Adar Bersano and Major (res.) Amotz Greenberg of the IDF were killed.

Three IDF members and one civilian have been killed, and others have been wounded, by Hamas terrorists since Friday.

Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, of Herzliya became the first Israeli soldier to pay the ultimate price during Operation Protective Edge. He died early Friday morning “fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza,” an IDF spokesperson reported.

Sgt. Adar Bersano, 20, of Nehariya and Maj. (res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45, of Hod Hasharon “were killed today while fighting Hamas terrorists,” the IDF said on Saturday. “Hamas terrorists attempted to infiltrate Israel through an underground tunnel and massacre civilians in an Israeli community. IDF forces opened fire at the infiltrators. One terrorist was killed; the others escaped to Gaza…. The attack against Israeli civilians was thwarted.” The terrorists wore IDF uniforms.

Weapons found after terrorist infiltrators stopped by IDF. (Photo: IDF)

Weapons cache of terrorists who entered Israel through a tunnel. (Photo: IDF)

Uncovering Terrorist Tunnels

IDF troops entered Gaza on Thursday night determined to uncover and destroy the underground tunnels which give terrorists direct access to Israel from Gaza; since then, in addition to Sgt. Barak’s death, several IDF officers and soldiers have sustained moderate to severe injuries and the IDF has killed 70 Hamas terrorists. One terrorist killed by the IDF in Gaza Saturday was wearing an explosives belt; handcuffs and tranquilizers were found nearby.

“Our forces commenced a ground operation in order to strike at the terrorist tunnels that run from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday. “….Because it is not possible to deal with the tunnels only from the air, our soldiers are now doing so on the ground.”

An Israeli civilian was also killed on Saturday – Day 12 of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge – when a Hamas missile hit the home of an Israeli Bedouin family near Dimona in southern Israel. Auda al-Wadj, 32, died, and two women, a baby and a young child were hurt in the attack, which also destroyed their house, according to media reports.

No Relief from Missiles

Israelis had no relief from terrorist missiles during Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath, which runs from sundown on Friday night to sundown on Saturday night). Warning sirens, which give people just 15 seconds to find shelter before a Hamas missile strikes, were constantly being triggered in towns and cities in Israel’s southern and central regions.

The Iron Dome, Israel’s missile defense system, was kept busy intercepting terrorist missiles over civilian population areas including Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva.

Hamas, which is notorious for using civilians as human shields, has also restarted its practice of using defenseless animals as walking bombs . Terrorists in Gaza sent a donkey laden with explosives to its death Friday evening in an attempted attack on IDF soldiers.

“The soldiers opened fire, causing the explosives to detonate,” said an IDF spokesperson. The soldiers were not injured but the animal died. “This cruel incident is the most recent attempt by Gaza terror organizations to make such an abominable use of animals as explosives couriers.”

Gaza Home Rigged with Explosives

IDF combat engineers also released a video Saturday of a civilian home in Gaza that was rigged with explosives.

Israel, whose representatives have emphasized that its fight is against terrorists and not the Palestinian people, opened the Erez Crossing Saturday night to allow five truckloads of medicine and other humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, according to a government spokesperson.

More than 1,700 terrorist rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since Operation Protective Edge began on July 8.

Author: Sherry Miller
Staff Writer, United with Israel