Palestinian Killed, 14 Wounded in Clashes With Israeli Forces Near Gaza Border

Man was part of sniper cell that was preparing to fire at Israeli forces, high-ranking army officer says.

Reuters

At least one Palestinian was reportedly killed and 14 others were wounded Tuesday afternoon during clashes with Israeli forces near the Gaza border fence. 

A high-ranking army officer said later that the man, which Palestinian medical sources identified as 27-year-old Ahmed Asrakhi, was part of a sniper cell that was preparing to fire at Israeli forces.

Dozens of Gazans demonstrated around the Bureij camp and near the Erez border crossing. Israeli forces responded in both locations by firing teargas and live ammunition at the protesters. According to the army, Palestinians at Bureij were rolling burning tires and throwing stones, and security forces fired at a Palestinian sniper cell that arrived at the area. According to the IDF, the cell was preparing to fire toward Israeli forces when army snipers fired at it and identified two hits. 

According to the Israeli army, the cell was responsible for several recent shootings toward Israeli vehicles, including the vehicle of a high-ranking officer in the southern district, a civilian vehicle which made repairs to the border fence and an IDF bulldozer. 

Following the attack on the snipers, farmers in communities near the Gaza border were instructed to stay away from the border and not to work within a kilometer from the fence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured the Gaza envelope area on Tuesday, and visited the Gaza Division headquarters.

On Friday, a 27-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes near Erez Crossing on the northern border with Israel. Hundreds of Palestinians approached the border fence in several locations, throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas canisters and live bullets.

Gaza Palestinians broke through the security fence several times in the last two weeks, and Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas to push them back. More than 12 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces near the border.

Earlier Tuesday, one Israeli soldier and two Israeli civilians were lightly wounded in separate attacks in the West Bank. The assailants in each attack were killed.

In a separate incident on Tuesday, a Jewish man was killed after being hit by a truck. The man was believed to have exited his car after rocks were hurled at him.