One of them, Muhammad Abu Luli, 22, of Rafah is reported to be in serious condition after he was shot in the chest, Palestinian medical sources said.

Palestinian witnesses said Israeli snipers located along the Egyptian border fired randomly at residents of the Hay al-Sallam neighbourhood in southern Gaza, accounting for two of the casualties.

The third person, Muhammad Abu Tuha was seriously injured when Israeli snipers from their perch near the illegal settlement of Neve Dekalim in the Palestinian town of Khan Yunis, shot him in the back. Abu Tuha was walking towards his home.

The shootings follow the killing of two Palestinian resistance fighters by Israeli troops in a pre-dawn raid on Gaza City's Shijaiya neighbourhood. Four other Palestinians, including a four-year-old child, were injured in the attack.

Stranded on border

The incidents occurred against the backdrop of a month-long Israeli siege of the northern Gaza village of Bait Hanun and the closure of the Rafah border crossing - the coastal strip's only route to the outside world – for over 10 days now.

The northern Gaza village of Bait
Hanun remains under a siege

More than 2000 Palestinians, including senior citizens, college students, and patients returning from medical check-ups, are stranded on the Egyptian side of crossing, according to Palestinian security sources.

Palestinian officials have asked aid agencies and the international community to intervene and stop what they call Israel's "discriminatory and humiliating policy of collective punishment" at the Rafah terminal.