Gazan killed by IDF fire near border, Palestinians say
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Gazan killed by IDF fire near border, Palestinians say

Army says Palestinian shot in the leg after he approached fence, ignoring a warning; 2 Gazans held for infiltration in separate incident

Illustrative: A convoy of IDF tanks park at a deployment area near the border with the Gaza Strip on August 2, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative: A convoy of IDF tanks park at a deployment area near the border with the Gaza Strip on August 2, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian farmer near the border in northern Gaza on Sunday, in the first deadly shooting since an August truce ended a 50-day war, Gazan medics said.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the dead man as Fadel Mohammed Halawa, 32, saying the bullet had hit him in the back near Jabalia.

The IDF said two Palestinians had approached the border with Israel, and had been warned to back away.

Troops fired several warning shots, but when the men did not move, one was shot in the leg and the other fled, the army said.

Qidra said the bullet appeared to have been fired from a nearby army watchtower at a man who was farming land near the border fence.

It was the first time a Palestinian from Gaza had been killed by Israeli fire since a seven-week war between Israel and Hamas militants ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on August 26.

In a separate incident on Sunday, two Palestinians — one armed with a grenade — were detained near the Kerem Shalom crossing after infiltrating into Israeli territory.

The 50-day summer conflict, during which Gaza terror groups fired some 4,500 rockets and other projectiles at Israel, and staged several cross-border attacks through a network of tunnels, claimed the lives of over 2,000 Palestinians, about half of them said by Israel to be combatants. Seventy-two Israelis, the majority of them soldiers, and one Thai national working in Israel, were also killed.

The war ended in late August in an Egyptian-brokered interim truce agreement, after which the sides were set to resume indirect negotiations in Cairo over a more long-term deal and tackle thorny issues such as the return of the remains of two IDF soldiers, the easing of the blockade on Gaza and the rehabilitation of the Palestinian enclave. The rehabilitation has only haltingly commenced.

The fate of the talks remains unclear as Egypt last month refused to receive the Islamist group’s delegation to the negotiations, following a deadly terror attack in the Sinai which killed over 30 Egyptian troops, and in which Hamas, which rules the Strip, was accused of being involved.

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