Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian who approached the Gaza Strip border on Wednesday to demonstrate against a no-go buffer zone imposed there by Israel, witnesses and hospital officials said.
They said the 19-year-old was shot as he and scores of other protesters planted Palestinian flags in the ground near the border fence, east of Gaza City. Some threw stones, drawing the gunfire from an Israeli patrol on the far side of the fence.
The victim was identified as Ahmed Saliman Salem Dib.
Military officials said that dozens of Palestinian arrived at the area and entered a forbidden zone. IDF troops fired warning shots in the air initially, and later fired at the lower bodies of demonstrators, who did not comply with orders to leave the area, the army said.
One of the protestors was hurt in the buttocks, the IDF said. Officials added they were unaware of anyone suffering a graver injury.
In a video released by B'Tselem, Palestinian protests can be seen marching towards the Gaza fence along with foreign leftist activists. The marchers got within dozens of meters from the border and faced a manned IDF position.
The protesters in the video are seen to be hurling stones at the army position, when one shot is heard. B'Tselem said the protestors were unarmed and that 10 minutes before the lethal fire, soldiers fired at the protestors but were not documented.
"These are non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli imposition of the buffer zone," a foreign pro-Palestinian activist who gave her name as Eva told Reuters Television.
"The Israelis say they can shoot anyone in this area. But it annexes Palestinian farmland. It annexes land where Palestinians live and work."
The Gaza border demonstrations began last month and are modeled on similar protests in the West Bank.