Israeli fire kills Palestinian trying to plant bomb at Gaza border: Israeli military

FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian, who was injured at the Israel-Gaza border, gestures as he is brought into a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip February 23, 2020. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed a Palestinian trying to plant explosives near Israel’s border security fence with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the Israeli military said.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said the man was one of its members, but it did not disclose what he was doing in the area.

In a statement, the Israeli military said soldiers opened fire at two Palestinians placing an explosive device next to the fence in the Hamas Islamist-run enclave.

It said one of the men was killed and a military bulldozer removed his body.

Witnesses and health officials said two other Palestinians were wounded by Israeli gunfire directed at a group of people who had approached the area and tried to recover the body.

Video footage shot by a Gaza photographer and posted on social media showed what appeared to be a lifeless figure dangling from the mechanical arm of the bulldozer, which was escorted by an Israeli tank.

The images caused an uproar in Gaza, with many on social media calling for retaliation. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned “the brutal abuse of the body and its abduction”.

Later in the day, the militant group Islamic Jihad fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel, setting off sirens and sending residents of southern Israel running for shelters. Some of the rocket fire was intercepted by missile defences and there were no reports of any Israelis injured.

Israel’s military then said it carried out strikes against Islamic Jihad targets, including a rocket-launching squad. Four people were wounded, according to officials in Gaza.

Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Giles Elgood and Peter Cooney

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