Israeli Military Kills Palestinian Woman Near Gaza Border

Not clear why 50-year-old who suffered from mental illness was near border fence, Gaza residents say.

The Israel Defense Forces shot and killed a Palestinian woman in the Gaza Strip in an area near the border that Israel has declared a no-go zone for Palestinians, local hospital officials said yesterday.

Gaza residents said it was not clear why 50-year-old Amna Qdaih, who they said suffered from a mental illness, was near the security fence that runs between Israel and Gaza.

Asked about the report, an IDF spokeswoman said soldiers identified a number of suspects in the area late on Friday and called on them to back away. After they did not, the soldiers fired at their legs and one was hit, she said.

Qdaih’s body was found and transferred to a hospital early yesterday.

A family member said that due to her mental and health problems, she got lost while making her way home from a wedding, and apparently hadn’t realized she was so close to the fence before IDF troops opened fire.

Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, agreed in 2012 to a ceasefire after an eight-day war. The border has remained relatively quiet since the truce, though violence flares occasionally.

On Friday the IDF said one of its aircraft had struck a site in Gaza used to launch rockets into Israel. No casualties were reported in that incident.

This comes amid a string of incidents in the West Bank and the Jerusalem area over the weekend. On Friday, Palestinian protesters faced off against Israeli security forces near Ras al-Amud, and photos showed a policeman pointing a gun at photographers from short range. The police stated in response that officers took out their weapons in order to deter stone throwers, not photographers.

Also Friday, Matez Wasaha was buried in Bir Zeit after being killed in his home during an operation to arrest him in Bir Zeit last week. Wasaha’s family said he was shot at close range.

An Israeli tank is parked in a position overlooking the Gaza Strip