Four armed Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces Saturday 10 August, after they attempted to cross the Gaza-Israel separation fence.
According to a statement by the Israeli military on Twitter, the four men were heavily armed with assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and hand grenades, one of which, allegedly, was thrown at Israeli troops.
The statement continued, saying that Israeli forces opened fire when one of the men attempted to cross into Israel. No Israeli casualties were reported.
Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters at a press conference that the “organisation affiliation” of the four individuals remained unknown.
However, he blamed the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, for being “responsible and accountable for any acts of violence emanating from the Gaza Strip whether they were Hamas operatives or not Hamas operatives.”
Hamas issued a statement on Saturday rejecting any involvement, describing the four men’s actions as an “individual act by angry youths” reacting to Israel’s 12-year blockade of Gaza. No Palestinian group has yet claimed responsibility.
According to Al Jazeera, Hamas Spokesman Abdel-Latif al-Qanou added that Israel was responsible for the state of anger and pressure inflicted on our people due to the continued siege on Gaza.”
Palestinians have staged weekly protests along the line dividing Gaza and Israel since March 2018 against the Gaza Strip’s dire conditions resulting from 12 years of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
At least 301 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza or the boundary area since then, the majority during demonstrations. Seven Israelis have also been killed.
According to a 2018 statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territories; With an economy in free fall, 70 per cent youth unemployment, widely contaminated drinking water and a collapsed health care system, Gaza has become unliveable.
Source: Palestine Monitor