Israeli soldiers opened fire at two Palestinians near the border in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday after it was suspected they were laying an explosive charge next to the fence, according to an Israeli army statement.
Local sources told Haaretz one of the two had been killed. Palestinian officials confirmed this to German news agency dpa on Sunday. He was later identified by the Islamic Jihad organization as Muhammad Ali Anam, 27, a fighter in the Khan Yunis battalion of their Al Quds military wing.
– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 63
Haaretz Weekly Ep. 63Haaretz
A later statement from the Israeli militray said it had thwarted an attack carried out by "terrorists affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizations."
Attached to the statement was a video taken from an IDF observation post that shows two men laying a heavy object near the border fence. A caption accompanying the video reads: "Laying an explosive charge on the border fence, 23.02.2020"
"Israel intended to kill an unarmed young man, in front of the cameras of the whole world," Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said, while Islamic Jihad promised retaliation.
– תיעוד גרירת הגופה בגבול רצועת עזה, הבוקר
#شاهد قوات الاحتلال تنكل بجثمان شهيد وتنقله بواسطة جرافة عسكرية بطريقة بشعة وتصيب أحد الشبان الذين حاولوا انتشاله شرقي بلدة عبسان الجديدة شرقي خانيونس جنوبي قطاع غزة pic.twitter.com/3oHmKLjVXE
— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) February 23, 2020
Two local photographers told Haaretz the confrontation happened inside Palestinian territory. Following the shooting, dozens of Palestinians gathered at the scene. Witnesses said the Israeli army fired at the lower bodies of those approaching the bulldozer.
A video taken by bystanders in Gaza and shared widely on social media shows an Israeli bulldozer, escorted by a tank, rushing Palestinians attempting to take away the wounded. Its mechanical arm eventually holds the apparently lifeless body of one of the men up by his clothing.