Last updated: 11 May, 2015

Gaza truck driver hit by gunfire from Egypt

A Palestinian truck driver in the southern Gaza Strip was seriously wounded on Monday by gunfire from Egypt, medics said.

“A 27-year-old driver who was working at the Kerem Shalom crossing was seriously wounded on Monday morning by shots which were fired from the Egyptian side of the border,” health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

The incident took place as the driver was on his way to the nearby border city of Rafah after leaving the terminal, which is used for transporting commercial goods between Gaza and Israel and is very close to the Egyptian border.

The Hamas-run interior ministry condemned the shooting, demanding that the authorities in Egypt hold “an urgent inquiry”.

The source of the fire was not immediately clear, but Egypt has been fighting a dogged insurgency in Sinai that took hold after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, with militants killing scores of police and soldiers.

Egypt has accused militants from Hamas, the de facto power in Gaza, of using cross-border tunnels to infiltrate Sinai and help militants there launch attacks on the security forces.

After a deadly attack in October killed 30 soldiers, Cairo ordered its troops to clear a buffer zone along the Gaza border and step up work to raze the network of cross-border tunnels.

For years, the tunnels had provided a smuggling lifeline for goods to reach Gaza, which has been under a tight Israeli blockade since 2006.