GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian on Thursday near the border in the northern Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry said.
The victim was shot in his foot by Israeli soldiers in a watchtower near Beit Hanoun, said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.
The Israeli military said a number of Palestinians had damaged the fence between Israel and Gaza.
Soldiers requested them to retreat and the group continued to damage the fence, so soldiers fired warning shots in the air, an Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an.
After the Palestinians refused to comply, the soldiers fired at their legs "to prevent the incident from escalating."
In a separate statement, Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said the fence was "crucial to the safety of nearby Israeli communities."
"Infiltrators are often apprehended along the fence by security forces preventing potential threats. The IDF maintains the right to act in self defense and prevent future infiltrations to the area surrounding the Gaza Strip," Lerner said.