Israeli military kills Palestinian after truce | News | DW | 23.11.2012
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Israeli military kills Palestinian after truce

The Israeli military has killed a Palestinian during a demonstration at a border fence in the Gaza Strip. It is the first violence since Hamas and Israel agreed to ceasefire after an eight-day conflict.

Hamas security officials escorted Palestinians away from the "no-go" border zone Friday in an effort to uphold a two-day-old truce after 23-year-old Anwar Qdeih was shot dead by Israeli soldiers.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect on Wednesday after an eight-day conflagration that left 166 Palestinians and six Israelis dead.

Demonstration on the border

The Israeli military said its troops had opened fire when hundreds of protesters had tried to breach a Gaza border fence. It demarcates the fringe of a 300-meter (984-foot) wide security zone that Israel has denied Palestinians access to since 2009.

Qdeih was shot in the head, according to Gaza health officials, and at least 15 other people were injured in the incident.

Hamas denounced the shooting as a violation of the ceasefire agreement, saying it would contact Egyptian mediators about the incident.

"Hamas has decided not to respond to the Israeli breaching of the agreement, but we hope that such violations will not [occur] again," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in a statement.

Warning shots

Israel said that an attempt to breach the fence was a violation of the ceasefire agreement.

"Around 300 Palestinians tried to get close to the security defense," said Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman. "They engaged in violent activity and damaged the fence."

Leibovich said the Israeli soldiers first fired warning shots into the air to stop the approaching Palestinians. When they continued to approach, the soldiers fired at their feet.

The terms of the ceasefire agreed to Wednesday calls on Israel to cease hostilities in the Gaza Strip, including incursions and targeted assassinations, and Palestinians to stop rocket and other attacks.

dr/ipj (Reuters, dpa, AFP)