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Middle east

Israeli soldier killed in 'friendly fire' incident

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-22

An Israeli soldier has died in an apparent friendly-fire incident along the border with Gaza. The military says three Palestinian infiltrators were also arrested at the site.

REUTERS -  Israeli forces opened fire on each other along the Gaza border on Monday, killing one of their own soldiers in an incident in which three Palestinian infiltrators were captured, a military spokesman said. 

Tensions have run high along the Israel-Gaza frontier this month, with Israel launching repeated air strikes at the Hamas-ruled territory in response to rocket attacks by militants which killed a Thai worker in southern Israel last week.
 
The Israeli spokesman, responding to media reports, including one by Al Arabiya television which said a soldier had been killed, said the serviceman "was apparently killed as a result of friendly fire."
 
Two separate forces had been alerted to a suspected infiltration from Hamas-ruled Gaza, but neither knew the other was in the area, the spokesman said. One of the forces "mistakenly identified the tank team (at the site) as suspects and began opening fire," he added.
 
A soldier was killed as a result, and three unarmed infiltrators were also arrested, said the spokesman, who added that a colonel has been named to investigate the incident.
 
None of the militant groups in Gaza claimed responsibility for any of the infiltrators, suggesting the men could have tried to enter Israel in search of employment.
 
Palestinians from the Israeli-blockaded territory have been known to steal across the fortified border in the same area, often in search of work in Israel.
 
A Palestinian security source in Gaza said Israel fired artillery into the area shortly afterwards and medics reported there was one man wounded, but it was unclear in which incident he had been hit.

 

Date created : 2010-03-22

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