Israeli forces opened fire near the Karni border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported on Thursday, adding that eight civilians were wounded, two of them seriously.
According to Army Radio, the soldiers opened fire at armed Palestinians approaching the border crossing, despite the force's repeated warnings, in what the troops suspected was a bid to lay explosive devices at the compound.
An military spokesperson said that an IDF force identified Palestinians approaching the border fence and fired at them with machine guns, adding that they did not identify a hit and that the Palestinians retreated into a civilian population concentration.
According to medical sources in Gaza, two people were seriously wounded, with the rest moderately wounded as a result of rifle and shell fire, adding that three of the wounded were elderly.
The incident came after, last month, the IDF opened fire at a group of demonstrators that approached the security fence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The IDF reported that one Palestinian was wounded while Palestinian sources reported that six people were wounded, including one in serious condition. According to the Palestinian reports, the demonstrators were unarmed.
The Palestinians reported that a foreign activist Bianca Zammit was shot in the leg.
"They had no reason to shoot us. We posed no threat to them whatsoever," Zammit told AP Television News from a hospital bed.
The demonstrators were protesting what they call "the IDF's intention to create a security buffer zone around the Gaza Strip."
Israel has declared areas of Gaza near its border to be no-entry zones, citing security concerns. Palestinian militants frequently approach the border fence to try to plant explosives. However, the order also keeps some Palestinian farmers from their fields.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now