Palestinians: IDF fire kills man near Gaza fence

IDF says group of Palestinians tried to breach border fence prompting warning shots in air, and then at legs.

By REUTERS
November 23, 2012 12:59
2 minute read.
IDF vehicle patrols along Gaza border fence [file]

IDF vehicle along Gaza border fence 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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IDF gunfire across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian on Friday and wounded several others, Palestinians medics said, two days after a ceasefire between the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas and Israel took hold.

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.

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Dozens of Gazans hurl rocks on Gaza side of border fence (IDF Spokesman)

A 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.

One armed Palestinian was apprehended in Israeli territory after having crossed the fence and was returned to Gaza by soldiers, the IDF stated.

A Hamas spokesman accused Israel of violating the Egyptian-mediated truce and said the group would complain to Cairo.

Medics 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.

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A 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."

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Wednesday's ceasefire deal ended eight days of fierce fighting that left 163 Palestinians and six Israelis dead.

According 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.

Seven 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.

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