GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers have shot and killed a Palestinian man who approached a fence near the border with Israel, medics said on Monday.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the shooting took place after darkness fell on Sunday, saying troops opened warning shots when a man walking west of the border in a riverbed failed to heed orders to leave the buffer area Israel maintains to try and prevent cross-border attacks.
Palestinian medics said the victim was an unarmed, mentally unfit man and that they had to wait a couple of hours for permission to pick him up, early on Monday. They suspected he died of injuries for which he might have been treated.
The Israeli spokeswoman could not confirm that information or say whether or not the victim was armed, saying more details about the case may become clearer later on Monday.
The shooting took place during a period of increased tensions at the Israel-Gaza frontier, with militants often firing rockets at Israel and Israel launching aerial raids targeting Palestinian gunmen.
The Gaza Strip, a coastal territory crowded with more than 1.5 million people, many of them refugees, is controlled by Hamas Islamists who reject Israel’s existence.
Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Stephen Powell