Medics: Man killed by Israeli fire near Gaza border
Published Friday 23/11/2012 (updated) 24/11/2012 13:45
An Israeli tank withdraws from northern Gaza near Kubbutz Mefalsim.
(MaanImages/Moti Milrod, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces killed a 20-year-old Palestinian man near the Israeli border in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday morning, medical officials said.
Medics said Anwar Abdul Hadi Qudaih, 20, was hit in the head with a live bullet east of Khan Younis.
Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 19 others were wounded by Israeli fire in the border area.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of violating the Egypt-mediated truce and said the group would complain to Cairo. "We will contact the Egyptian mediator to discuss the incident," he said.
Witnesses told Ma'an a group of citizens were gathering to perform Friday prayer on their land near the border.
A relative of the dead man, who was at the scene, told Reuters that Qudaih 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.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said that soldiers fired warning shots into the air to push back some 300 Palestinians who had gathered at different locations along the fence and who were attempting to breach the border.
"After the rioters did not comply, the soldiers responded by firing toward the legs of the rioters," she said.
Footage uploaded to YouTube showed people running as gunfire was heard.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki, speaking in Rome, called Friday's shooting "a clear violation of the agreement and should not be repeated".
Medics said four Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire on Thursday near the fence. An army spokesman said 200 Palestinians approached the fence and "began rioting" before causing damage to the fence.
Wednesday's ceasefire deal ended eight days of fierce fighting that left some 170 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.
Reuters contributed to this report.