Palestinians say Gaza farmer killed by Israeli army fire
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Palestinians say Gaza farmer killed by Israeli army fire

Hamas-run health ministry identifies victim as 59-year-old Mohammed Abu Jumaa; IDF says soldiers opened fire when he entered ‘banned zone’

Palestinians help evacuate an injured protester on a stretcher during clashes with Israeli troops near Khan Yunis by the border between Israel and the southern Gaza strip on March 2, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)
Palestinians help evacuate an injured protester on a stretcher during clashes with Israeli troops near Khan Yunis by the border between Israel and the southern Gaza strip on March 2, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

A Palestinian farmer was killed Saturday by Israeli army fire near the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, the Hamas-run health ministry said.

An IDF spokeswoman said soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian man who had entered a “banned zone” near Gaza’s border with Israel, but gave no further details.

The Gaza Health ministry identified the farmer as 59-year-old Mohammed Abu Jumaa.

The area surrounding the Israel-Gaza border has seen an uptick in violence since US President Donald Trump announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, in a move that infuriated Palestinians.

Gaza residents have staged regular demonstrations along the fence, and regular clashes with Israeli troops have resulted in the deaths of several protesters.

Last month, four IDF soldiers were injured when they attempted to remove the IED disguised as a flag from the Gaza security fence adjacent Khan Younis.

A Palestinian throws a rock toward Israeli soldiers during clashes near the border fence east of Gaza City, on February 23, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

As they pulled the device off the fence, it was apparently detonated remotely.

Two of the soldiers were seriously injured and two were moderately hurt. They were hit by shrapnel, sustaining wounds throughout their bodies, including their eyes, doctors said.

Last week, the army said it neutralized a similar improvised explosive device that had been set up along the border fence.

In response, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians warned Gazans that the army would respond more aggressively to riots along the security fence.

“We know that the violent clashes on the border are used as cover for terrorist activity, as happened last Saturday. And we will not allow such an event to happen again,” Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai told Palestinians in an Arabic video on social media last week.

AFP and Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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