June 14, 2012 - 12:00am

A Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip on Thursday opened fire at an Israeli farmer in a community bordering the coastal enclave, the army told Xinhua.

The farmer, who was unharmed in the attack, took cover behind a vehicle, which sustained damage in the shooting, according to Army radio. Troops in the vicinity returned deterrent fire, but it was unclear if the gunmen was hit.

The incident, which took place in the field surrounding the 300- resident village of Kibbutz Nir Oz, is part of a growing series of cross-border shooting attacks against Israeli targets by Gaza militants, and Israeli army reprisals.

In a similar attack on June 1, a Palestinian gunman, who cut through the border fence under cover of heavy early morning fog, shot dead an Israeli soldier.

"A terrorist who was identified infiltrating Israel from the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, who responded with fire. During the exchange of fire, the terrorist was killed, thus preventing a terror attack on Israeli civilians" in nearby towns, an IDF spokesman told Xinhua.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel. The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip," the military said.

Two weeks ago, a Palestinian sniper shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers near the Kissufim border crossing. The IDF said the soldiers were part of a patrol along the border when shots were fired hitting both an officer and a soldier.


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