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Israeli forces shoot, injure Gazan 'after crossing border'

Sept. 2, 2015 11:39 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 2, 2015 11:16 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers patrol the border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP/Menahem Kahana/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man near the Gazan border Wednesday morning after they said he crossed the border into Israel.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that soldiers went to the scene after they "identified a suspect infiltrating Israel from the sea."

She could not confirm how he crossed the border, but said he reached the Israeli side.

She said that soldiers fired warning shots and ordered him to halt. When he "did not comply," she said that they fired "at his lower extremities" and a hit was confirmed.

She said the Palestinian "was evacuated for medical treatment in an Israeli hospital."

Sources at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon told Ma'an that the Gazan had been brought to them. They said he had been hit in the leg and was in a stable condition.

Israeli news site Walla reported that he was shot while approaching a border sea fence off the coast of northern Gaza, although this could not be confirmed.

Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian fisherman and farmers since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip.

In July alone, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights counted 27 incidents of shootings, incursions into the territory, and arrests.

This included 18 shootings on land and at sea that left nine Palestinians injured, PCHR reported.

The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the "security buffer zone."
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