Last updated: 24 January, 2014

Israeli forces kill Gaza man near border

Israeli forces shot dead a man and wounded another in the Gaza Strip near the border with the Jewish state on Friday, a medical source in the Palestinian enclave said.

Bilal Samir Oweida, a 20-year-old civilian, died after being “shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers” east of Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, said Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry.

Another young man was wounded in the same incident, he said.

The Israeli army said a group of Palestinians had entered “a prohibited area” in northern Gaza where they “damaged the security fence, hurled rocks and rolled burning tyres at IDF (Israel Defence Forces).”

“The soldiers tried to distance the crowd using riot dispersal means and firing warning shots in the air. After all efforts were exhausted, the soldiers fired towards two main instigators,” a military spokeswoman told AFP.

In early January, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian youth, who the army said had been vandalising the security fence in the same area.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel allows “civilian access on foot to areas up to 100 metres (yards) from the perimeter fence for agricultural purposes only, and vehicular access to a distance of 300 metres.”

Israeli soldiers often fire on Palestinians who stray beyond the civilian access area.