From The Washington Post Saturday, November 24, by
. KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — Israeli troops fatally
shot a Palestinian man and wounded at least 13 others Friday morning on the Gaza
side of the enclave’s border with Israel, and each side accused the other of
violating a cease-fire that took effect Wednesday night
The shooting was the first flare-up of violence since a truce reached late
Wednesday ended eight days of Israeli bombardment of Gaza and Palestinian rocket
attacks against Israel — fighting that drove the two sides to the brink of
Palestinian witnesses and human rights officials said the episode illustrated
the ambiguities of the deal, which called for an examination of the safeguards
along a fenced 300-meter-wide buffer zone that Israel enforces on the Gaza side
of the border, as well as negotiations on ending Israel’s blockade of the
...Hamas, along with the masked fighters of other Gaza militant groups, held
boisterous victory rallies across the Gaza Strip on Thursday, the day after the
Egypt-brokered cease-fire with Israel was announced.
Amid parades of flags and political bombast, each of the strip’s militant
factions hailed what they called a triumph for the Palestinian resistance and a
new era for Palestinian unity.
But the separate public appearances by each militant group — rather than one
unified rally — raised questions about the sturdiness of the cease-fire.
Anwar Abdel Hadi Qdeih, 20, was killed when Israeli forces on the border
opened fire on a few dozen mostly young men as they approached the first of two
fences Friday morning, according to hospital officials and witnesses in the
southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
The Israeli military said hundreds of Palestinians had attempted to breach
the border fence in several places Friday, prompting Israeli soldiers to shoot
...Capt. Eytan Buchman, an Israeli military spokesman, said at least 300
Palestinians “demonstrated and tried to cross the border at a number of places”
along the southern frontier between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
He said Israeli soldiers initially fired “warning shots” in the air in an
attempt to deter the Palestinians.
“When they continued their attempts to cross, security forces followed
standard procedure and after exhausting other options fired towards their lower
bodies,” he said.
“Anwar was trying to put a Hamas flag on the fence,” Omar Qdeih, a relative
of the young man who was killed, told Reuters news agency. “The army fired three
times into the air,” Qdeih said, then shot his relative in the head after he
shouted a slogan in support of a Hamas militant leader who was killed in an
Israeli airstrike last week.
...Buchman said Israel considered the attempted breach a violation of the
cease-fire deal that Hamas and Israel reached Wednesday but did not say whether
the military would take further action.
...“Hamas hasn’t decided to respond to the Israeli breaching of the agreement,
but we hope that such violations won’t be committed again,” Hamas spokesman Sami
Abu Zuhri said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. He said Hamas reported the
incident to Egypt, which was instrumental in arranging the truce.