Two Palestinians were injured by Israel Defense Forces soldiers near the border fence between Gaza and Israel on Monday, Palestinian sources said.
The two men were shot near the Erez crossing point and were taken to a hospital in Gaza, the Palestinian Ma’an News agency reported. Both men were said to be in a moderate condition.
According to the report the IDF said in a statement that the men had entered a prohibited area near the crossing “suspiciously and [were] meddling with the ground.”
The soldiers fired warning shots before shooting the men in their “lower extremities.”
Ma’an said that Palestinians often gather stones and rocks from open areas in order to make them into gravel for cement. Israel maintains a blockade on Gaza and cement is one of the products that are in limited supply. Israel fears that cement would be used to construct tunnels or bunkers for housing terror infrastructures in Gaza.
Terrorists often attempt to plant improvised explosive devices along the border fence to target passing IDF patrols.
The security buffer maintained by Israel along the Gaza fence extends several hundred meters into the Palestinian enclave, interfering with agricultural work, the report said.