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Two wounded by Israeli gunfire in southern Gaza

28 november 2012, 15:41
Two Palestinians in their 20s were moderately wounded by Israeli gunfire on Monday as they walked near the border fence in southern Gaza, AFP reports according to a health ministry spokesman.

The incident occurred near the fence to the east of the southern city of Rafah, not far from the Kerem Shalom border crossing, spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP, saying one was hit in the arm and the other in the leg.

There have been a growing number of border incidents near the fence in southern Gaza in recent days following a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas militants which ended a violent eight-day confrontation.

Under terms of the agreement, Israel was to permit Gazans greater access to agricultural land located near the border fence which until now has been completely off-limits for security reasons.

On Friday, troops opened fire at a group of people who approached the border east of Khan Yunis, killing one and wounding 19.

In response, Hamas deployed police along the border to prevent such incidents from recurring and endangering the truce agreement.

Another person was injured by gunfire on Sunday.

According to figures provided by Israel rights group Gisha, Israel has until now enforced a no-go area of between 300 metres and 1,500 meters inside the fence, comprising 35 percent of Gaza's arable land.

But following the ceasefire, farmers in the buffer zone had managed to get within 100 meters of the fence to work their lands, Gisha said in a statement issued on Sunday.

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