Middle East

10 Gazans hit by Israel gunfire in border clash: medics

A member of the Palestinian Red Crescent tries to stop the bleeding from the head of an injured boy as he is carried on a stretcher during clashes with Israeli security forces near the eastern Gaza Strip border, east of the northern town of Jabalia, on February 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS

GAZA CITY: Ten Palestinian men were wounded by Israeli army gunfire Friday in clashes near the border fence in the central Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.

Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry, said one man was in serious condition after being shot in the head.

Qudra said the shooting, not far from Jabaliya northeast of Gaza City, ame after the Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers.

An army spokeswoman told AFP "hundreds of Palestinians" had been throwing stones at Israeli soldiers beyond the border fence and attempting to sabotage it.

The soldiers opened live fire at "the lower extremities of the main instigators" after attempts to disperse them with riot dispersal means failed, she said.

Clashes are common on Fridays, with regular protests near the border in support of Gaza farmers who say troops uprooted their trees to create a buffer zone.

Tensions have risen in and around Hamas-ruled Gaza after a year of relative calm, with Palestinian militants firing projectiles at Israel and the Jewish state targeting Hamas facilities and militants.

According to army figures Palestinians have shot 37 projectiles that hit southern Israel since the beginning of 2014, most recently on February 14.





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