An Israeli soldier guides a tank to a new position at a staging area near the Israel-Gaza Strip border Thursday.
After Wednesday’s cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, a 20-year-old Palestinian was killed and nine others wounded in a clash with Israeli soldiers in the southeast Gaza Strip.
A group of Palestinians was reported to have gone to the border area of Abassan on Friday to pray, and ended up throwing stones at soldiers who responded with gunfire. The man killed was identified as Ahmad Qudaih.
It not clear whether Hamas will call the conflict a violation of the tentative cease-fire. Israel has agreed to halt “incursions” into a 1,000-foot-wide “buffer zone” along the northern and eastern borders of Gaza, where Palestinians have been banned.
The border area has long been a focal point of tension. In the days leading up to Israel’s military offensive against Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza, Palestinian militants fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli military jeep patrolling the border, injuring four soldiers, and Hamas claimed responsibility for detonating a tunnel packed with explosives that ran along the border while an Israeli force was nearby.
Capt. Eytan Buchman, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said that about 300 Palestinians were demonstrating at various points along the border fence on Friday, prompting Israeli soldiers to fire warning shots in the air. Then some demonstrators “tried to damage the fence and cross into Israel,” Captain Buchman said. “When that happened, the forces fired at their feet.”