A Palestinian citizen was shot and injured Sunday afternoon in the leg by IDF fire in northern Gaza, after dozens of Palestinians gathered near the electronic border fence. This is second incident in five days involving Palestinian demonstrators near the fence in order to test soldiers' responses. The IDF believes that the incidents form a return to an old phenomenon – when the IDF was present in the Gaza Strip, and Palestinians approached IDF positions, often with intentions to harm soldiers.
Around 20 Palestinian arrived at the electronic border fence in the afternoon, near Kibbutz Nir Am. They crossed one fence and approached the electronic sensor fence. Despite requests by soldiers, the Palestinians refused to leave the area and began rioting. In an attempt to disperse the rioters, IDF soldiers fired in the air, but the Palestinians did not disperse.
During the disturbance one of the Palestinians approached the fence, and in response soldiers fired at his legs. He was apparently lightly injured.
'Gathering near fence not always innocent'
The first time that Palestinians demonstrated opposite the security fence in Gaza was last Wednesday, when a few dozen Palestinians arrived at the border on northern Gaza, burned tires, threw rocks, and even climbed the electronic fence. Attempts by the IDF to disperse the rioters by firing in the air failed, and eventually the soldiers fired in the direction of the legs of three demonstrators, who were subsequently injured.
The IDF believes that the disturbances began as a result of internal Palestinian circumstances, and were directed at the IDF in a spontaneous manner.
"The gathering near the fence is not always innocent," said one army source. "Although there is no immediate danger to soldiers from this incident, we must remain vigilant."
The IDF expressed concern that innocent civilians could be harmed by such demonstrations, or that the demonstrations could be used as a distraction for a terror attack near a different area of the fence.