IDF armored vehicle in Gaza
Photo: Reuters
Palestinian farmer killed by IDF fire in Gaza, official says
30-year-old farmer shot from Israeli army position while working in his fields several hundred meters from border fence, health official says

Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian farmer in his fields along the Gaza-Israel border, a Palestinian official said Friday.


The 30-year-old farmer, later identified as Bahajadth Abu Daka, was shot from an Israeli army position along the border fence, and another farmer, his cousin, was wounded, according to Dr. Moaiya Hassanain of the Gaza Health Ministry.


The Palestinians said the farmers were several hundred meters away from the border fence when they were hit, adding that they had not posed any threat to the soldiers.


The Israeli military said it was looking into the incident.


On Thursday, several Gaza militant groups announced they had fired mortar shells at Israel from the same area where the farmer was killed Friday, near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.


Israeli troops and aircraft regularly target militants firing rockets and mortars at Israel from Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamic group Hamas.


Two weeks ago IDF soldiers operating in the north Gaza town of Beit Hanoun killed two Palestinian farmers. Sources said the two were killed by a shell from an Israeli tank as they were working on their land.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak said this week that Israel will apparently expand its activity in Gaza.


"We will use all our diplomatic means to weaken the Hamas leadership and its effectiveness, but the truth must be told, we are nearing an extensive operation in Gaza," Barak told army radio Wednesday morning.


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