Friday, November 23, 2012

Medics: Man killed by Israeli fire near Gaza border

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.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was checking reports of the incident.

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.

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