independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Man dies in Gaza border shooting

Palestinians celebrate the ceasefire in Gaza City (AP/Bernat Armangue)

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded nine along Gaza's border fence with Israel today, reports say.

The shooting was the first violence since a truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers took hold a day before.

The shooting, reported by a Gaza health official, appeared to be an isolated incident and was unlikely to jeopardise the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, which called for an end to Gaza rocket fire on Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

The truce came after eight days of cross-border fighting, the bloodiest battle between Israel and Hamas in four years.

The Gaza prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, has urged militant factions to respect the ceasefire.

The man killed today was part of a group of people who approached Israel's border fence with Gaza to pick up parts of an Israeli army jeep damaged in the fighting, said Gaza health official Adnan Abu Salmia. He said soldiers opened fire, killing one man and wounding nine.

Israel's military, citing a preliminary investigation, said there have been isolated attempts to infiltrate Israel from Gaza, and that warning shots were fired in the air when the group approached. The military said there was unrest along the border but did not give details.

In the past, Israeli troops enforced a no-go zone on the Gaza side of the frontier, firing on anyone approaching in an attempt to prevent infiltration attempts. Since the ceasefire, growing numbers of Gazans have entered the zone.

In Cairo, Egypt was set to hold separate talks today with Israeli and Hamas envoys on the next phase of the ceasefire - a new border deal for blockaded Gaza. Hamas demands a lifting of all border restrictions, while Israel insists that Hamas must halt weapons smuggling to the territory.

Press Association

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