Israel kills Palestinian in Rafah

A Palestinian has been shot dead by Israeli forces in the Rafah area of the southern Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian medical sources.

    2823 Palestinians have been killed since start of intifada

    Jamal Al-Afifi, 45 years old, was killed on Monday when soldiers stationed at a post opened fire in the Tal Al-Sultan neighbourhood in Rafah, the sources said. 

    An Israeli army spokesman said troops posted near the Rafah Yam Jewish settlement were fired at by Palestinian gunmen and returned fire. 

    There were no casualties on the Israeli side, he said. He said gunmen had opened fire at the army position several times over the past few days, and had also used rocket propelled
    grenades (RPGs). 

    Meanwhile, a Palestinian man wounded by Israeli fire in Rafah on 11 February succumbed to his wounds, medics said, naming the man as Muhammad Zurub, 28. 

    The latest deaths bring the overall toll since the start of the
    intifada in September 2000 to 3766, including 2823 Palestinians and 875 Israelis.

    Heart attack

    Also on Monday, a  Palestinian man died of a heart attack while waiting to get into Israel at the Gaza border crossing, the Israeli army said. 

    Initially, Palestinian hospital officials said the man, Ahmad Shaikh, had suffocated to death due to the cramped conditions at the crossing point, but later refused to confirm the information. 

    The army said soldiers treated Shaikh, 41, when they saw him collapse. Army medics rushed to the scene and declared him dead, the army said. 

    Erez border


    In Pictures:
    Palestinian workers wait to be allowed into Israel



    About 10,000 Gazan labourers work in Israel every day. They wait for hours at the Erez border crossing to undergo security checks. Several people are treated every day for breathing difficulties resulting from the cramped conditions. 

    The workers begin arriving at the main Erez checkpoint between Gaza and Israel at about 2:00am. 

    The wait has grown even longer since 14 January when Israel tightened security checks in response to an attack at the Erez crossing in which four Israeli border guards were killed. There have been several incidents of rioting and pushing among workers since then.

    Gaza explosion

    Late on Monday, a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed and at least three people were injured after an explosion in an apartment to the north of Gaza City.

    The cause of the blast in the Al-Fayruz neighbourhood was not immediately known, but the Israeli military denied it was the result of an attack by one of their aircraft. 

    "This is not the result of any attack," an army spokesman told
    AFP. 

    Witnesses said Israeli planes had been flying over northern Gaza at the time of the explosion, but the military said any aerial activity was merely routine. 

    Security sources said the blast might have been caused by a
    grenade going off in the hands of the teenager who was named as Luai Abu Hamda. His mother, father and seven-year-old brother were also injured, one medical source added.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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