Middle East

Palestinian shot dead trying to breach Gaza border: Israel army

Palestinian protesters hurls stones at Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Friday, June 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A Palestinian armed with an ax was shot dead trying to breach the Gaza-Israel border Monday, the Israeli army said.

An army statement said troops thwarted an "infiltration attempt" by "two terrorists who damaged the security fence and were armed with an axe."

Soldiers "fired towards the terrorists, killing one of them," it added, without saying what happened to the second suspect.

There was no immediate confirmation from the health ministry in Gaza.

Al-Aqsa TV, affiliated with Gaza's Hamas movement, published a video of a group of young men at the border, some of them using wire cutters to breach the fence.

They then approach a military post and hurl what appears to be a petrol bomb at it, before running back into Gaza.

The video did not show anyone getting shot, but an eyewitness said one of the men was hit as he tried to flee, with the body taken by Israeli forces.

The video said the operation was revenge for the death of Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old female medic shot dead in southern Gaza Friday.

The death brings to 123 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since March 30.

The vast majority have been killed during weeks of protests along the border, while a few were killed while carrying out attacks or in air strikes.

Protests peaked on May 14 when at least 62 people were killed as tens of thousands approached the heavily fortified border in a demonstration coinciding with the controversial opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

No Israelis have been killed.

The Jewish state accuses Hamas of organizing the protests and using them as an excuse to carry out attacks.

 

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