Palestinian killed in Gaza, Israel denies involvement

GAZA Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:51pm GMT

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GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian medical officials accused Israeli soldiers of killing a farmer in the Gaza Strip on Monday, but a military spokeswoman denied any Israeli involvement.

Mustafa Abu Jarad was shot in the head in the town of Beit Lahiya on the border with Israel, said Gaza's health ministry, run by the territory's Islamist Hamas rulers.

The 21-year-old was taken to Shifa hospital but died later, said doctors.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said officials had checked "and apparently the incident is not related to the Israeli army".

A source speaking on condition of anonymity said Israel suspected the man was shot by a fellow Palestinian.

The Israel-Gaza frontier has been mostly calm since November when eight days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes killed 170 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Since then, three Palestinians have been shot dead along the border shot by Israeli troops in an area Israel has deemed off-limits for several years, citing the risk of attacks on its soldiers.

Palestinians say the restrictions stop many farmers getting to their fields.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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