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IDF opens fire on Palestinians who breached Gaza border fence

One Palestinian was killed in the incident near the southern city of Rafah.

IDF troops opened fire on four Palestinians who infiltrated into Israel from the southern Gaza Strip and tried to set fire to an abandoned army position on Monday.

According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the men crossed the perimeter fence into Israel east of Rafah city armed with firecrackers and tried to ignite an abandoned sniper position.

IDF troops identified the group and pursued it, opening fire on them. As a result of the shooting one Palestinian was killed, another critically injured and another arrested and transferred to security officials for interrogation.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported that a fourth was a 16-year-old who was taken to the hospital in moderate condition after being shot in the shoulder.

During the incident, the military force reported shots being fired at them.

“The force acted quickly against the violation of Israeli sovereignty and the attempt to harm security infrastructures,” read a statement released by the IDF.

“Hamas is responsible for everything in and out of the Gaza Strip and stands behind the attempts to cross the fence and damage security infrastructures. The IDF views these events seriously and will continue to act in a sharp and aggressive manner,” it added.

The incident comes one day after another group of Palestinians breached the border fence in southern Gaza and set IDF equipment at an empty sniper outpost on fire before escaping back into the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

Last week an IDF tank fired at two Palestinian teenagers that the IDF said were trying to infiltrate into Israel from Rafah. One of them, 17 year-old Abdel Fattah Abu Azoum, was fatally wounded after he was hit in the head and died several hours later. According to the army firebombs had been found at the scene.

Gazans have been protesting along the border with Israel since March 30th as part of what organizers have called the “Great March of Return.” Over 130 Palestinian protesters have been killed by IDF fire and thousands more injured.

Demonstrators have launched hundreds of kites, balloons and helium-filled latex condoms with incendiary and explosive devices on a daily basis into Israeli territory, sparking fires that have destroyed thousands of acres of farmland, parks and forests.

Hamas officials have said that the protests, which also demand an end to a grinding Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza, will continue until their demands are met.

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