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Israeli forces shoot, injure man in central Gaza

Jan. 27, 2014 1:58 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 29, 2014 1:03 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli soldiers on Monday shot and injured a Palestinian man east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, a medical official said.

Spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Ma'an that a 34-year-old man was shot in the chest by Israeli fire.

The man, who was not identified, is in a critical condition.

Shortly before the man was shot Israeli forces opened fire indiscriminately after an explosion rocked the central border area as an Israeli military jeep was passing by.

A large group of Israeli troops were seen in the area and fired smoke bombs in order to evacuate the jeep, witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not familiar with any incidents in the central Gaza Strip.

On Friday, Israeli forces shot dead one Palestinian and injured another during a protest east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra, said that 20-year-old Bilal Samer Oweidah died after being shot dead in the chest by Israeli forces near the border.

Owiedah was among a group of Palestinians who had gathered near the border to protest the buffer zone imposed by Israel.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006.

Israeli forces frequently shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians.

According to OCHA, 17 percent of Gaza's total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.
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