Dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli forces and attempted to breach the Gaza border fence on Friday, according to the IDF spokesperson to the international press, Avital Leibovich.
IDF sources said they fired warning shots in the air near the border with southern Gaza following “disturbances in the area.”
Palestinian sources reported earlier Friday that a 21-year-old man was killed and at least six injured by Israeli fire east of Khan Younis in the Strip.
According to one version of events, the Palestinians who neared the border fence were agricultural workers. But according to another report, the Palestinians were on their way to prayers, and a family member of the man allegedly killed told Reuters that the 21-year-old had attempted to place a Palestinian flag on the fence.
A senior Islamic Jihad official condemned the shooting near Khan Younis and said it was a violation of the fragile US/Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that went into effect on Wednesday night, ending an eight-day conflict dubbed Operation Pillar of Defense.
Sheikh Nafez Azzam told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency that the ceasefire agreement covers the area near the border where the shooting allegedly occurred and that Egyptian officials were being updated with the latest developments.
On Thursday, two people were reportedly injured by Israeli fire while marching near the same area.
Israeli officials were bracing Friday for demonstrations near the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, where protests have been held over the last several days against Israel’s offensive in Gaza. Some of those protests had turned violent.
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