Gaza man caught after crossing border into Israel

IDF soldiers arrest unarmed Palestinian near Kibbutz Kfar Aza, take him in for questioning

The Israeli border fence with Gaza (David Buimovitch/Flash90)
The Israeli border fence with Gaza (David Buimovitch/Flash90)

IDF soldiers on Saturday arrested an unarmed Palestinian man suspected of crossing the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian, who was caught near Kibbutz Kfar Aza, was taken to a nearby security facility for questioning.

A similar incident occurred Wednesday, when two Palestinian men managed to walk five kilometers (three miles) into Israeli territory near Kibbutz Be’eri before being spotted and stopped by IDF soldiers. Both men, who were unarmed as well, were taken in for questioning, according to Channel 10.

The circumstances of both Saturday’s and Wednesday’s incidents remained unclear, but such events are often cases of civilians looking to work illegally in the country.

Also Wednesday, Palestinian sources said that the Israeli navy fired on a fishing boat that had strayed outside of a six nautical mile fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip. The fishermen jumped overboard as the naval fire tore the boat to pieces. There were no reports of injuries.

On Monday officials from Gaza’s Hamas-run security services said two fishermen were wounded and four went missing after the Israeli navy fired on two boats off the coast. It was not immediately clear whether the four had been arrested, the officials added.

According to Israel Radio, since the end of Operation Protective Edge in August there have been numerous incidents of Palestinian boats straying beyond the six-mile limit.

Under the terms of an August 26 truce agreement which ended a deadly 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants, Gaza fishermen, who number around 4,000, are permitted to trawl the waters up to six nautical miles off the shore.

Stuart Winer and Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.

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