Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter's personal assistant was lightly to moderately injured Friday by gunshots fired by Palestinians at the minister's entourage visiting the Nizmit hill in Kibbutz Nir Am in southern Israel.
"The army of the nation", a new organization affiliated with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the sniper fire.
A Magen David Adom crew evacuated 30-year-old Matti Gil of Jerusalem, who was injured in the groin, to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
Minister Dichter lay down on the ground with his entourage and asked everyone to remain calm. Following the incident, he said that "the IDF did an excellent job and immediately fired back at the source of the fire until it stopped. Ambulances were dispatched to the area within minutes."
Dichter left the area for the Barzilai hospital to visit his injured assistant.
The minister was hosting a group of managers from the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC), a pro-Israel lobby group, who visited the observation tower in the Gaza vicinity area in order to examine the threat on Israel, receiving a live demonstration. According to estimates, a Palestinian sniper fired the shots.
The observation tower, which overlooks the northern Gaza Strip from Ashkelon to the al-Bureij and al-Marazi refugee camp in the heart of the Strip, is considered a popular hiking site.
Earlier, Palestinian fired at farmers in Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. There were no reports of injuries. Some 30 youths from the Kibbutz Movement arrived at the area Friday morning in order to assist the farmers in their work. Large army forces secured the activity.
The Kibbutz Movement members brought along four tractors and helped in the installation of shoreines.
Roni Sofer, Shmulik Hadad, Ali Waked, Amit Schneider and Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to this report