Israeli fire kills farmer in Gaza: Palestinians

Israeli troops shot dead a 65-year-old Palestinian farmer today in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical and security officials said.

Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 00:19 AM IST

Gaza City: Israeli troops shot dead a 65-year-old Palestinian farmer
today in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical and
security officials said.

The shooting occurred on the northeastern side of Beit
Hanun, which lies very close to the Erez border crossing with
Israel.

Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the Hamas-run medical
services, named the victim as Shaaban al-Qarmoot, saying he
had died after being hit by a tank shell and by gunfire.

His body was transferred to the Kamal Adwan hospital
in the nearby town of Beit Lahiya.

A spokesman for the Israeli army said he was "not
familiar with this incident at all."

The shooting came hours after Israeli warplanes
launched two overnight air strikes on the Gaza Strip in
response to rocket and mortar fire from the Hamas-controlled
territory.

In recent weeks, militants inside Gaza have fired
dozens of rockets and other projectiles into southern Israel,
prompting a string of retaliatory air strikes.

Earlier today, militants fired three rockets into
Israel, which hit just north of the Gaza Strip without causing
any injuries or damage, bringing to 23 the number of rockets
and mortar rounds fired across the border this year, a
military spokeswoman said.

The incidents have raised the prospect of another
large-scale invasion of Gaza, similar to Operation Cast Lead
that Israel launched just over two years ago.

The 22-day war, which ended in a ceasefire on January
18, 2009, killed 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 13
Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Gaza`s Hamas rulers have announced publicly they want
to avoid another invasion and said yesterday they were holding
talks with militant groups to coordinate military activity and
"spare our people new aggression" from Israel.

PTI