Two 8 and 11-year-old children were killed by an IDF shell near the former settlement of Dugit on Friday afternoon, Palestinian sources reported.
According to military officials, An IDF force shot and killed two 18 or 17-year old Palestinians moving suspiciously near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, near Kibbutz Zikim. The officials added that the two teenagers were crawling in an area Palestinians are banned from entering and ignored the soldiers who called on them to stop.
The Palestinians claimed that the children were looking for aluminum and iron to sell in the market. Since the evacuation of settlements in Gaza, many Palestinians have been looking for building materials in the area and selling them in order to buy food.
The soldiers assumed that the two Palestinians were attempting to plant an explosive device in the area and fired at them.
Palestinians organizations said that no cell was operating in the area and that the IDF was claiming that gunmen approached the fence in order to justify shots fired for no real reason.
IDF officials noted, however, that terror organizations and Palestinian groups had distributed false information in the past few weeks claiming the IDF fired and hurt civilians. In a number of incidents, Palestinians also reported that IDF soldiers were killed or injured, but these reported were also proven to be false.
The troops spotted five Palestinians moving near the fence and called on them to stop. As the Palestinians ignored the call, the soldiers fired at them and killed two. A 16-year-old Palestinian was injured and evacuated to the Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon in moderate condition. A fourth Palestinian was arrested by the soldiers and taken in for questioning.
The IDF is on high alert in the area for fear terror organizations would try and kidnap soldiers. A large number of forces are operating around the border fence.
Since IDF forces left the Gaza Strip, more than 100 terrorists have been killed near the border fence in dozens of incidents in which cells attempted to plant explosive devices, infiltrate Israel
or carry out terror attacks.
IDF sources noted that in many incidents in the past youths had been sent to examine the forces' alertness or prepare for terror attacks in exchange for money.
Military officials said that the entire area was banned for movement as it is very close to Israel, and this has been made clear once again recently, after IDF forces entered the Palestinian territory, in messages conveyed on Palestinian media.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report