Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians on Gaza border

Israeli military said the 3 were militants; relatives called them fishermen.

Updated: Feb 17, 2011, 16:16 PM IST

Gaza City: Israeli forces killed three Palestinian men on Thursday along the tense border with the Gaza Strip. Israel`s military said they were militants, while relatives identified them as fishermen.

The Israeli military released a statement saying soldiers fired on them after they were spotted planting an explosive device in a no-go zone along the border between 2 am and 3 am.

A spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, Adham Abu Salmiya, said they were killed by Israeli fire near the Mediterranean shore in northern Gaza. They were in their 20s and were wearing civilian clothing, he said. Relatives who came to the hospital to receive the bodies for burial said they were fishermen.

None of Gaza`s armed groups immediately claimed the men as members.

The military maintains a buffer zone along the border fence, where militants have planted bombs targeting Israeli forces in the past.

Gaza is controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Bloodshed in the territory has decreased since Israel`s military offensive in Gaza just over two years ago, but rocket fire and border clashes have continued.

Bureau Report