IDF Fires at Group of Demonstrators on Gaza Border

Palestinians report that three were wounded in the incident, including a foreign activist from Malta.

The IDF opened fire Saturday on 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-go zones, citing security concerns. Palestinian militants frequently approach the border fence to try to plant explosives. However, the order also keeps Palestinian farmers from their fields.

In recent months, farmers and foreign supporters have frequently marched toward the border to protest the restrictions.

An IDF official told Army Radio that troops were called to the area to disperse a group of several dozen Palestinian demonstrators approaching the fence and fired into the air after demanding the demonstrators leave the area.

When the demonstrators still did not disperse, soldiers fired toward the lower part of their bodies.

The incident in Gaza comes a day after an Israeli protester was injured after being hit in the forehead with a teargas canister during a weekly protest against Israel's West Bank security fence in Bil'in.