IDF: Misunderstanding caused troops to fire at Hamas member

Mahmoud Ahmad Sabri al-Adham was killed by IDF fire as he tried to prevent two youths from approaching fence.

IDF troops face Palestinian protesters over the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip on March 30, a year after they began the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
IDF troops face Palestinian protesters over the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip on March 30, a year after they began the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
A Hamas member was shot and killed by IDF troops along the Gaza border fence on Thursday morning in what the military says was a misunderstanding.
Identified as 28 year-old Mahmoud Ahmad Sabri al-Adham, a Hamas commander who according to Palestnian reports was attempting to prevent two youths from approaching the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip.
Hamas's military wing stated that Adham’s death will not go “unpunished” and that Israel would “bear the consequences of this criminal act.”
"Israel intentionally fired at one of our members while he was carrying out his duties. We are carrying out an investigation into this crime,” the group added.
Several hours after the incident the IDF said that an initial investigation found that troops fired at Adham after mistakenly identified him as an armed terrorist.
“An initial investigation revealed that an activist from Hamas's control force arrived at the fence area following two Palestinians who were nearby. In retrospect, it appears that the IDF force that arrived at the incident identified the Harrison activist as an armed terrorist and fired at him by mistake,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit adding that the incident will be further investigated.
The incident comes as an Egyptian intelligence delegation is set to enter the Hamas-run coastal enclave to discuss the agreement for continued calm between the two sides.
While there has been relative calm in southern Israel over the past few weeks, Haams and other groups in the Strip have threatened to increase the level of violence if Israel does not abide by the terms of the ceasefire agreement.
For the past year thousands of Gazans have been protesting along the security fence on a weekly basis taking part in Great Return March demonstrations, calling for an end of the 12 year long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
During the violent weekly protests, Gazans have been burning tires and hurling stones as well as grenades and other explosive devices towards IDF troops.
Gazans have also launched countless aerial incendiary devices into southern Israel, simple devices like balloons or kites with burning embers, rags soaked in car oil.
Explosive balloons and condoms have also been launched towards Israel, landing on major highways, on trees, and even in playgrounds or private yards in the college city of Sderot and other smaller Gaza vicinity communities.

According to figures released by the IDF on Wednesday a total of 1,400 dunams have been burnt in southern Israel during the first six months of 2019, a significant decrease from 34,000 dunams burnt in 2018.