Friday, December 20, 2013

Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian, injure 5 across Gaza Strip

Published Friday 20/12/2013 (updated) 21/12/2013 22:17
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was shot dead and five others were injured in a number of incidents across the Gaza Strip on Friday.

Odeh Jihad Hamad, 24, was shot dead, and an unidentified man was injured after Israeli soldiers opened fire near Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Gaza government spokeswoman Isra Almodallal confirmed the shooting, adding that they had approached the fence but details were still unclear.

In another incident, two others were shot and injured east of Khan Yunis, spokesman for the Gaza ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said. They were taken to the European hospital south of Khan Yunis with moderate injuries, he added.

Israeli forces also shot and injured two Palestinian men east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip earlier on Friday.

One of them, 23-year-old Mohammad Ayoub, was shot near the eastern cemetery and transferred to Kamal Odwan hospital, medical officials said.

The other injured Palestinian was not immediately identified.

An Israeli forces' statement said that "Palestinians caused damage to the northern security fence" and "fired a mortar shell" into Israel, adding that they "rioted and hurled rocks at soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip, and neared the fence in an attempt to enter Israel."

After "calling out to the Palestinians" without success, they used live fire.

"Several hits were identified," the statement added.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006.

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.

Correction: A previous version of this story identified the man who was shot dead by Israeli forces as Jihad Hamad. In fact, the man's name is Odeh Jihad Hamad.