Last updated: 1 May, 2012

Gaza militant killed in Israeli border firefight

The Israeli army and Palestinians exchanged fire along the Gaza border Tuesday in a series of clashes that wounded one person, the Israeli military and Palestinian security sources said.

The Israeli military said its forces came under fire while “performing routine operational activities near the security fence in central Gaza.”

“Two armoured vehicles were damaged. IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft and Armoured Corps soldiers responded with fire towards suspicious locations.”

Security sources and witnesses said Palestinians opened fire towards Israeli forces as they staged an incursion into Gaza and began clearing land along the border area in the early afternoon.

The Israeli military maintains an exclusion zone inside the Gaza Strip along the border and regularly carries out military activity in the area.

Palestinian medical sources said Israeli forces opened fire again later in the afternoon in the same area, leaving one Palestinian wounded.

A Gaza militant group later reported the death of one of its members, but in circumstances unrelated to the border fighting.

Al-Nasser Salaheddin Brigades, the military wing of the hardline Popular Resistance Committees, said in a statement that “senior leader” Abdallah al-Taweel died on “a jihadi mission,” a phrase used to indicate a training accident or other mishap.

On Tuesday evening, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in open ground in southern Israel’s Ashkelon coast district, a spokeswoman for the region’s council told AFP.

There were no reports of casualties or property damage.