Hamas polices Gaza border after IDF fire kills man
By REUTERS AND YAAKOV LAPPIN
IDF says group of Palestinians tried to breach border fence prompting warning shots in air, and then at legs; Hamas security officials come closer to border fence than ever before, escort Gazans away from "no-go" zone.
Hamas Islamists enforced a fragile two-day-old truce on Friday by
evacuating Palestinians from a "no-go" border zone after IDF gunfire
across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian and wounded several
The rare move by the group in control of the Gaza Strip
followed intervention by Egyptian mediators who urged both sides to take
steps to preserve the truce that ended eight days of fierce
Israeli-Palestinian fighting on Wednesday.
The IDF stated that a
group of about 300 Palestinians approached the border fence in the
southern Gaza Strip and held a violent disturbance along the border.
number of the Palestinians attempted to break through the border fence
into Israel. IDF soldiers initially fired shots into the air, but when
warnings were not heeded, shots were directed at the suspects' legs,
according to the IDF.
armed Palestinian was apprehended in Israeli territory after having
crossed the fence and was returned to Gaza by soldiers, the IDF stated.
security officials, coming closer to the Israeli border fence than ever
before, escorted Palestinians away from the site, witnesses, including a
Reuters photographer, said.
A Palestinian security source
confirmed the move to Reuters, saying "yes, there are instructions to
implement the agreement and at the same time protect the people. The
instruction is not to allow people to approach the border fence."
spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that "deploying national security members
on the edges (border) was in implementation of the (truce) agreement
and to provide protection to the farmers in that area."
Hamas spokesman accused Israel of violating the Egyptian-mediated truce
and said the group would complain to Cairo.
The Palestinian Authority issued a complaint to the UN Security Council over the incident saying that Israel had threatened calm in the area by violating the cease-fire.
said Anwar Qdeih, 23, was hit in the head by Israeli gunfire after he
approached the security fence that runs along the Gaza frontier -- an
area that Israel has long declared a no-go zone for Gazans.
relative of the dead man, who was at the scene, told Reuters that Qdeih
had been trying to place a Hamas flag on the fence. He added that an
Israeli soldier had fired into the air three times before Qdeih was hit
in the head by a bullet.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "We will contact the Egyptian mediator to discuss the incident."
Wednesday's ceasefire deal ended eight days of fierce fighting that left 163 Palestinians and six Israelis dead.
to the terms of the accord, both Israelis and Palestinians agreed to
stop their hostilities. However, the brief document left details on
access to the tense border zone to be worked out in the days ahead.
other Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire from the border
since the start of the ceasefire, medics said. Six of them were hurt on
Friday and one on Thursday, when the Israeli military said 200
Palestinian "rioters" approached the fence.
The IDF constantly
patrols the border area and says its forces have come under increasing
attack this year, with terrorists planting explosive devices and firing
an anti-tank missile on at least one occasion.