Palestinian killed on Gaza border

A 27-year-old Palestinian man was killed yesterday in riots on the northern border of the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Spokesperson’s Unit said several hundred protesters gathered along the border and threw stones at the security forces and burnt tyres, prompting Israeli soldiers to respond with riot control measures, which included live fire and tear gas. The Gaza-run Health Ministry said the 27-year-old Palestinian man was killed by the Israeli live fire.

Israel Air Force (IAF) helicopter gunships and unmanned aerial vehicles were spotted in the skies over Gaza for many hours yesterday as the IDF prepared for a response from Hamas after the death of three Palestinian youths on Sunday. A preliminary IDF investigation revealed that the youths were shot after being spotted near the security fence with a suspicious object. The Islamic Jihad threatened to avenge the death of three teens, saying that “the resistance will respond to this crime in a way that suits its magnitude”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli military is “acting to prevent and to defend Israel from the infiltration of forces that are coming to attack our communities. Regrettably, one soldier was killed under those circumstances, but all in all we’ve averted the loss of [Israeli] life”.

Speaking on what to do about the continued violence in Gaza, the Prime Minister said: “There are two possibilities — either the blows that we deal them will produce a period of quiet or will result in humanitarian collapse in Gaza. That is why we are willing for there to be involvement by other players, such as the UN, Egypt and others.”

A senior political official said yesterday that despite Netanyahu wanting to avoid war, “he isn’t sure that he can,” adding that “in order to go to war, that needs to have justification and a purpose, at the end of which there will be a visible achievement. There aren’t any volunteers to take Gaza, and the Arab countries haven’t got any problem with Israel conquering Gaza”.