Man killed, another injured by Israeli forces in Gaza
Published Thursday 13/02/2014 (updated) 15/02/2014 11:55
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was shot dead and another injured on Thursday by Israeli forces east of Gaza city.
Spokesman for the Gaza ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said that Ibrahim Suleiman Mansour, 26, from an area east of al-Shujaiyeh died from injuries sustained after Israeli forces shot him in the head in nearby al-Montar east of Gaza City.
Al-Qidra added that another man, 21, was moderately injured after being shot in the foot.
Medics told Ma'an earlier that two people were taken to a hospital after the shooting at the border.
A Ma'an reporter said that the two men were collecting pebbles near the border when they were shot.
An Israeli army spokesman, however, told Ma'an that "several Palestinians approached the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip and began tampering with (the) fence."
"The soldiers operated in order to distance the suspects and after exhausting all possible means to do so fired at the main instigator," he added.
Recent weeks have witnessed an increase in tensions on the Gaza Strip, as Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian protests near the border and launched a number of airstrikes. Palestinian militants have responded with rockets, which have not caused any injuries in Israel.
Israeli forces frequently shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians.
The "security buffer zone" extends between 500 meters and 1500 meters into the Strip, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones.
According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza's total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.