March 2010 Israel–Gaza clashes
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|2010 Gaza clashes|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Yoav Galant||Ismail Haniyeh|
|Casualties and losses|
1 Palestinian civilian killed|
12 Palestinian civilians wounded
Tensions between Israel and Hamas ran high after the Gaza War, although fighting ended after a cease-fire was signed. No serious armed incidents had taken place before these clashes. However, tensions ran high, especially with the Mossad suspected of assassinating Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, and a rocket launched from Gaza killing a Thai farm worker working an Israeli field. The Israeli naval blockade of Gaza was also still in place, while rockets continued to be fired at Israeli cities and towns.
The fighting began on March 26, 2010, when a team of soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) entered the Gaza Strip. The soldiers were from the elite Golani Brigade, and had entered after several men placing what appeared to be explosives on the border fence. Gunmen then attacked the soldiers with mortars and gunfire, as well as an explosive device. Two Israeli soldiers, Major Eliraz Peretz of Eli, and Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky of Rishon LeZion, were killed when a grenade on a soldier's vest was hit and exploded. Israeli soldiers returned fire and killed two militants. Another IDF unit also fired on a separate group of militants planting explosives along the border, wounding two. On March 27, Israeli troops backed by tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters, and mortars entered Gaza in retaliation and clashed with Palestinian fighters. According to Palestinian sources, five Israeli tanks and two armored bulldozers entered Gaza and fired shells at targets near Khan Younis before withdrawing. An Israeli spokesperson confirmed that Israeli bulldozers were used to flatten infrastructure used by terrorists. One Palestinian gunman was killed in an Israeli airstrike during the fighting. According to Palestinian medical sources, a Palestinian civilian was also killed and twelve more wounded.
The Palestinian armed groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, and Jaljalat, claimed to have been involved in the fighting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences to the families of the dead and the wounded, while a Hamas spokesperson claimed the deaths of the two soldiers as revenge for Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
The IDF took note that the both soldiers killed during the hostilities died when a single hand grenade being carried in one of the soldiers' vests was hit and exploded as a result. Israeli engineers subsequently developed an upgraded version of M26 grenade, designed not to explode when struck by a bullet.