Exclusive: “Killing Field” was the name of Hamas assault which killed 3 Israeli soldiers, injured three Wednesday
The fallen Israeli soldiers were Sgt. Mattan Ovdati, 19, from Moshav Patish, Sgt. Menhash Albaniyat, 20, from Kseife, both from the Negev region, and Sgt. David Papian, 21, from Tel Aviv. Hamas reported 5 dead.
A senior officer told debkafile that Hamas used tactics first seen practiced by Hizballah in the 2006 Lebanon War battles of Bint Jbeil and Maroun al-Ras. Both terror groups receive advanced training in Syria and Iran.
Early Wednesday, April 17, eight Hamas operatives went into action after splitting into two teams – one crossed the Gaza border barrier into Israel, alerting the warning systems and sensors to attack, then pulled back 60 meters from the border to a hill inside Gaza and dug in. The second team had meanwhile taken up position at the top of the same hill 150 meters from the border.
The Israeli Givati Brigade unit, responding to the alert, advanced on the first Hamas line and opened fire, only to find it had run into an ambush. The first Hamas team had joined the second and, providing each other with covering fire, trapped the Givati unit between them. Two Israeli sergeants died in close-range fire on the spot, the third of his injuries. All eight Hamas operatives escaped unhurt. Heavy battles continued during the day – on both sides of the Gaza-Israeli border at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal sector and around Kibbutz Beeri – in which at least 4 Hamas terrorists were killed. The Palestinians aimed 23 Qassam missiles at Israeli targets. Later, Israeli air attacks accounted for an estimated 20 Palestinian dead in their central Gaza strongholds.