Palestinian Man, 18, Killed by Israeli Army Fire on Gaza Strip Border

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FILE PHOTO: An IDF tank near the southern border with the Gaza Strip.Credit: AFP

An 18-year-old Palestinian man was killed and two were moderately wounded by IDF tank fire in the southern Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel, on Tuesday night.

The three were hit while near the border fence between eastern Rafah and Israel. The IDF Spokesman's Office said that the three were identified as assailants, but didn’t specify why. According to an initial report, Israeli troops saw the three acting in a suspicious manner similar to the placing of explosives. The overnight incident was considered unusual, and the IDF said on Wednesday morning that it would investigate the incident.

Ashraf Al-Qudra, the spokesman of the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, identified the man killed as Yousef Shaban Abu Adra, and said that he and the two wounded were evacuated to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.

Hamas established in recent years a line of observation points near the border fence, and a Hamas unit called "Defenders of the Frontier" is positioned in the area to prevent Palestinians from reaching it and to oversee what happens near the border. Therefore, the defense establishment is set to first examine whether the Palestinians who approached the fence overnight were planning on attacking Israeli troops or laying explosives, and if so whether they acted in the area with Hamas' knowledge.

Two weeks ago, the Israeli army neutralized two explosive devices placed in the security buffer zone on the Gaza border, west of the fence. The explosives were planted on foggy nights at the beginning of March. The explosives were neutralized without causing injury and were taken for examination and treatment. 

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