IDF fires at Palestinian near Gaza fence

Army says says man approached border; Palestinians say five wounded.

February 21, 2010 01:40
1 minute read.
IDF gaza border 248 88 ap

IDF gaza border 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

An unidentified Palestinian man approached the Gaza border fence with Israel on Sunday morning, prompting an IDF tank to fire shells in his direction.

The IDF said there were no casualties on either side during the incident, which occurred on the border with northern Gaza.

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Palestinian medics claimed, however, that five Palestinian day laborers were hurt by the shelling.

Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services, said two of the wounded were in serious condition.

It came after a similar incident on Saturday when unidentified Gazans approached the border with Israel, drawing mortar and machine gun fire from the IDF.

Palestinian sources said three people were wounded in that incident.

The suspects were spotted by a Gaza Division lookout walking toward the electronic fence near Kibbutz Kissufim early on Saturday morning.

Golani Brigade soldiers on the scene fired mortar shells and machine gun rounds at the suspects in response.

A remote-controlled machine gun deployed on the border fencer was also used by the army to fire on the suspects, according to one report. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said it could not respond to that claim.

Army sources say terrorists are continuously attempting to plant explosives targeting IDF patrols along the fence, and that an upsurge in such attempts has been noted in recent days.

Conflicting Palestinian reports on the identity of the individuals appeared in the hours after the incident, with some identifying the group as gunmen, while others claimed that some of the injured were “farmers.”

On Thursday, an IDF soldier was lightly injured by shrapnel from a bomb planted on the Gaza border fence. He was taken to Beersheba’s Soroka University Medical Center.

Also on Saturday, IDF soldiers in the Hebron area opened fire on a vehicle containing two Palestinian youths who tried to run them over.

The incident began when the army received a report that several Palestinians were at a parking lot for seized vehicles, to steal the cars.

When soldiers arrived, the suspects fled in a number of cars, one of which tried to run down the soldiers.

Palestinian sources said the two youths were lightly injured.

AFP contributed to this report

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