Hisham Abu Taha
Arab News
July 11, 2008 - 2:45pm

A 17-year-old boy who crossed into Israel in search of work was killed by Israeli troops yesterday.

Mouawiya Hassnin, a Health Ministry official, told Arab News that the teenager, identified as Salem Hamedi, was wearing a T-shirt and jeans and had sustained bullet wounds to the stomach and shoulder.

The Israeli Army confirmed that their soldiers killed a Palestinian close to the Gaza-Israeli border, near the Kissufim crossing. The army said that when the man crossed the border fence into Israel, soldiers asked him to stop and fired several warning shots in the air. But when he continued to move toward them, they shot him dead. The army later discovered he was unarmed.

Palestinian fighters later fired two rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The rockets landed in an open area in southern Israel and no one was hurt, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, said it fired the rockets in response to Israeli violations of the June 19 cease-fire.

Hamas, which rules the strip, said it considered the pre-dawn shooting a violation of the cease-fire, but did not vow revenge. “The Palestinian factions show a great commitment to making this understanding successful, but the occupation must also be committed to its obligations,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

And in a departure from the past, Hamas arrested three Palestinians who fired the rockets into Israel. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said Hamas men pursued three of its members after the attack and “abducted them” in Jabalya refugee camp.

“We demand their immediate release,” said Abu Qusai, a Brigades spokesman.

Hamas officials had no immediate comment. The group had previously said it would not use force against Palestinians who violate the truce.

The Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal calls on Hamas to prevent cross-border rocket fire and attacks from the Gaza Strip and for Israel to halt its raids and ease an economic blockade.

Israel tightened restrictions on the passage of people and goods to and from the impoverished territory after Hamas seized control of it a year ago. United Nations officials said Gaza’s goods crossings were shut more often than not despite the truce.


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