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Medics: Israeli gunfire injures 2 in Gaza

Dec. 1, 2012 6:25 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 3, 2012 6:18 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were injured on Saturday by Israeli gunfire near the border fence in eastern Gaza, medics said, as Hamas accused Israel of violating the Egyptian mediated ceasefire.

Both men were taken to hospital in northern Gaza after the incident, the sixth of its kind since a truce was agreed to end eight days of violence between Israel and Hamas.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "a few Palestinian rioters approached the security fence and in order to distance them soldiers acted in accordance with IDF rules of engagement."

Hamas accused Israel on Saturday of violating the shaky, Egyptian-brokered Gaza truce of Nov. 21 after a young Palestinian man died late Friday of wounds he sustained hours earlier by Israeli gunfire east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medics confirmed Saturday that 21-year-old Mahmoud Jaroun was hit by a gunshot to the pelvis Friday evening, and was evacuated to Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah before medics announced his death around midnight.

On Friday, 11 Palestinians sustained wounds by Israeli fire along the borders between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The Gaza Strip's Hamas government described the death of Jaroun, as well as the Israeli navy's seizure of Palestinian fisherman, as violations of a ceasefire mediated by Cairo to end a surge of cross-border fighting this month.

"We have discussed this with Egyptian officials, so they guarantee a cessation to those violations," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Since a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was brokered by Egypt, two Palestinians have been shot dead and at least 40 have been injured. Gaza officials say over 30 fishermen have been detained since the agreement.

Abu Zuhri's remarks did not indicate that the government wants to abandon the ceasefire. The eight days of fighting this month killed at least 170 Palestinians, injuring over 1,000.

Six Israeli were also killed in the violence.

Islamic Jihad also condemned the violations, with its military wing releasing a statement saying that "continued and so flagrant (Israeli) violations would put the calm at risk and push resistance factions to respond in a way they deem suitable."

Increased Palestinian access to the Gaza fence and to fishing waters heavily patrolled by Israel were among conditions lodged by Hamas and other armed factions in the Cairo talks.

Reuters contributed to this report
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