IDF soldiers on Sunday shot and killed a Palestinian who repeatedly tried to sabotage the Gaza Strip border fence, the army said.
“Troops recognized a suspect who approached the security fence and attempted to sabotage it,” an English-language army statement said, adding that they opened fire at the man.
He was given medical treatment but “later on, the suspect succumbed to his wounds,” it added.
Palestinian security officials said that the dead man was Atef Mohammed Saleh, 32, from Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, which is near the border with Israel.
Earlier Sunday, the army said soldiers identified and arrested three Gazans attempting to cross the fence surrounding the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli troops uncovered a pair of knives on the suspects upon their apprehension.
The IDF was unable to confirm whether the three suspects were the same ones that Palestinian media reported had been shot and wounded after approaching the northern Gaza border fence near the Erez crossing.
The Shihab Palestinian news agency reported that two residents of Beit Hanoun on Gaza’s northeastern edge were shot by IDF troops.
Dozens of Palestinians were protesting and attempting to approach the border fence near the Erez border crossing in the north of the enclave.
There were no immediate reports of further casualties at the protests.
On Saturday, the IDF said it would investigate the events surrounding the recent deaths of two Palestinians at the Gaza border, including that of a 16-year-old who was shot on Friday during protests and who succumbed to his wounds on Saturday.
Palestinian media outlets released a video clip which they said showed the incident and appeared to show the teen throwing an object before waving and clapping, with his hands in the air at the time he was shot. (Warning: Graphic content.)
He was named as Ahmad Abu Tuyur.
“In the violent disturbances along the fence, IDF soldiers responded with riot control measures and acted in accordance with open-fire regulations,” said the military in a statement Saturday. “It is claimed that two people died in the violent disturbances. The events will be reviewed by the relevant command echelons.”
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said Friday that a 17-year-old was also killed and that nearly 400 Gazans were wounded in the violent protests.
Around 7,000 Palestinians took part in the weekly clashes.
The Israeli military said demonstrators hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at soldiers, who responded with tear gas and other less-lethal means. Troops fired at Palestinians who attempted to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
The army said it struck two Hamas posts in the Strip. One was attacked in response to a grenade thrown towards troops along the border, while another was hit after protesters damaged military infrastructure.
Balloons with incendiary devices attached were again flown across the border, after being largely absent in recent weeks. Two fires broke out in Israel as a result of the arson attacks.
Friday’s protests were the first since the US announced it was cutting all aid to UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian humanitarian assistance.
Recent weeks have seen relatively less violence at the border than at the height of the protests some months ago.
Earlier Friday, Israeli aircraft opened fire at a group of Palestinians who were trying to send incendiary balloons over the border in the northern Gaza Strip, the military said. Two people were lightly injured, according to reports in Gaza.
There have long been reports of talks on a UN- and Egypt-brokered truce agreement that would end the months-long flareup of hostilities — the most severe since the 2014 war.
The surge of violence in Gaza began in March with a series of protests along the border that were dubbed the “March of Return.” The clashes, which Gaza’s Hamas rulers orchestrated, have included rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli soldiers.
Since the protests began in March, at least 127 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes, according to a tally from The Associated Press. Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members. During that time, a Gaza sniper killed an Israeli soldier.
During the demonstrations, protesters have also launched incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops, and killed livestock. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials.