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Israeli army gunfire injures 1 east of Gaza City

Nov. 5, 2011 2:33 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 6, 2011 6:52 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces fired on a group of people east of Gaza City on Saturday morning, moderately injuring one man.

Witnesses said they were surprised by the gunfire, which came as farmers were tending their land near Gaza City's juice factory, towards the Karni crossing into Israel.

Muhammad Ibrahim Hamad, 23, was injured in the leg, a Ma'an reporter said.

The group were terrified and ran from the area, witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokesman said forces "recognized a group suspects coming near the security fence," before firing in the air to move the group away.

When one person "refused (to move back) they fired at his lower body mass," he said, adding that the area near Gaza's border is frequently used to launch attacks against Israelis.

Rights groups say workers tending land and collecting stones and other construction materials along Israel's buffer zone in north and eastern Gaza have been targeted by Israeli soldiers.

In 2010, Defense for Children International documented 14 cases between March and October of Palestinian youths under the age of 18 who were shot by Israeli forces while collecting gravel in the border zone.

While a few of these teens were shot as close as 50 meters from the border, others were 500, 600, even 800 meters from the border when the shooting occurred, the group said.
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