April 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a Palestinian medical worker and the Israeli military said.

An army spokeswoman said the man was a militant and had been spotted in an area Israel has deemed off limits because militants often use it to target military patrols along the fence.

"Soldiers identified an armed man near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip and fired towards him identifying a hit," the spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for medical services in Gaza named the dead man as Mohammed Shalha, 21, according to an identification document he was carrying and said no weapon had been found at the scene.

Sixteen Palestinians have been killed since an increase in violence last month.

Israel and Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers have signalled they are ready to return to a de facto ceasefire which has kept the border relatively quiet since the end of the December 2008-January 2009 Gaza war.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017