The Saturday explosion, the most significant event in terms of Israeli casualties along the Gaza Strip border since the 2014 war, set off a round of intense fighting over the weekend.
Immediately following the IED attack, an Israeli tank fired a shell at an observation post, in response to the attack, the army said.
Later that evening, terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched a rocket that hit a house in a nearby Israeli community, causing damage but no injury.
In response to both the IED and rocket attack, the IDF conducted a series of airstrikes and artillery shellings, hitting a total of 18 targets in the Gaza Strip.
An army spokesperson called the IED attack “a serious incident that aimed at destabilizing the region.”
The official told reporters that the patrol — made up of soldiers from the Golani Brigade and the Combat Engineering Corps — stopped along the border to remove a flag that had been placed at the fence a day earlier during a protest, and that a device planted below the flag then detonated.
Last week, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot warned ministers during a cabinet meeting that Israel could soon face another war with Gaza-based terror group Hamas, as a result of the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the coastal enclave.