Carlos Andres Chavez
Photo: Yonat Atlas
Kibbutz volunteers at Ein Hashlosha
Photo: Tzafrir Aviov
Palestinian sniper shoots to death foreign volunteer near Gaza
(VIDEO) Foreign volunteer killed by Palestinian sniper gunfire from within Gaza; man was shot as he was working in the fields of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. Hamas claims responsibility

Carlos Andres Chavez, a 20-year-old volunteer from Ecuador, was killed after he was shot by a Palestinian sniper from within the Gaza Strip as he was working in the fields of the Ein Hashlosha kibbutz located near the coastal territory.


The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, took responsibility for the shooting.


Magen David Adom paramedics arrived to the scene while the man was still alive but seriously injured. They tried to save his life but were unsuccessful and were forced to pronounce him dead.


Yochai (Yochi) Kopler, a kibbutz resident who was out in the field when the shooting began, described the incident. "We started fleeing from the gunfire and, on the way, I heard the volunteer scream in Spanish: 'The bastards shot me from behind!'




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"I saw that he has hit in the lower back and was bleeding, I pulled him halfway inside the vehicle and quickly hurried to the infirmary," he said.


Kopler added that the evacuation was carried out under heavy fire. "I pulled him inside the car and started to drive all the while they were shooting at us with light machine guns and (firing) mortars -- the bullets were literally whizzing by our heads."


The woman in charge of kibbutz volunteers at Ein Hashlosha, Annie Rotman, said that Chavez had arrived to the kibbutz a few months ago with a group of volunteers from South America in order to work and travel around the country. She said he had fallen in love with Israel and wanted to serve in the IDF.


"I spoke with him just yesterday and we laughed, we spoke of the shooting going on along the border," she said.


Haim Yellin, chairman of the Eshkol Regional Council, told Ynet that "just yesterday we toured the area where the shooting took place with security officials. They gave us permission to continue and said that despite the (recent sniper) gunfire, they didn't know of anything specific that should cause us to stop working there."


'Government at a crossroads'

Yellin said the shooting represented an escalation. "This is a sad day for agriculture. We're currently waiting for military officials to provide use with the appropriate response to ensure peace for farmers."


MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union-NRP) said following the incident that "the killing brings the government to a crossroads: eliminate the terrorism or capitulate to it.


"The abandoning the country's southern residents to snipers and Katyusha (rocket) launchers is an continuing crime by the Israeli government," he said.


Also on Tuesday, Israeli forces killed at least 11 Palestinians, including Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar's son Hussein, during raids and aerial attacks in Gaza.


Sources in Gaza identified some of those killed as being members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, adding that a 60-year-old civilian was also killed by IDF fire.


An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that troops were involved in action against "terror infrastructure" in the northern Gaza Strip and that a number of armed men had been shot.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report


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