Monday, May 19, 2014

Israeli troops shoot, injure Palestinian in northern Gaza

Published today (updated) 19/05/2014 16:27
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man in northern Gaza on Monday in the second such incident in 24 hours, locals said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that a 20-year-old man was collecting stones to make concrete outside of Beit Hanoun near the Erez crossing when Israeli forces shot him.

The young man, who was not immediately identified, sustained moderate wounds.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there were "dozens" of Palestinians gathered in an that area they were "not permitted" to enter near the border.

After calling on them to "distance themselves" and firing "warning shots into the air," soldiers fired at the lower extremities of one of the Palestinians, identifying a hit, the spokeswoman said.

On Sunday, Israeli forces shot a 21-year-old gravel worker in the same area.

Ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza's health ministry spokesman, said that the man was taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in moderate condition.

Many people in the besieged coastal enclave collect small stones in order to make gravel for concrete, because the import of concrete is forbidden by the Israeli economic blockade, which had been in place 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.

According to a March report by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, the number of live-fire casualties near the fence has been on the rise since late December.

"The military must also instruct the troops that the use of live fire is absolutely prohibited for the purpose of getting Palestinian civilians who pose no threat to anyone to back away from the areas near the perimeter fence."