Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Worker shot by Israeli force in northern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was injured by Israeli fire on Wednesday while he collected scrap construction materials in northern Gaza near the Erez crossing.

Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said a 28-year-old identified only by his initials YG was lightly injured and transferred to the Kamal Udwan Hospital for treatment.

Abu Salmiya said 66 people have been injured collecting scrap supplies in the area since 2009.

An Israeli military spokeswoman responded: "The area adjacent to the security fence is a combat zone used by terrorist organizations to execute attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers and to plan kidnapping attacks. For this reason, the IDF will not allow anyone to be present in it."

She added: "During this morning's incident, soldiers fired warning shots in the air a number of times in an attempt to drive the suspects away from the fence. When the suspects failed to consent, the forces fired toward the suspects' lower bodies, and identified hitting one of the suspects."

Workers are targeted nearly every day by Israeli soldiers patrolling the buffer zone, an area of Palestinian territory along Gaza’s northern and eastern borders.

As Israel bans concrete and crushed stone for construction, young men often go to evacuated settlements to collect gravel from buildings that Israeli forces demolished before the unilateral withdrawal in 2005.

A 19-year-old worker died of asphyxiation Sunday after he fell in a ditch and was buried under rubble as he collected stone aggregates in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Another teenager was injured Sunday when Israeli forces opened fire at a group of workers collecting rubble near an evacuated Israeli settlement in northern Gaza.