GAZA CITY, Palestine: A mentally ill Gazan woman was shot dead by Israeli troops near the border early on Saturday, the Palestinian Hamas-run health ministry said.
The Israeli military confirmed soldiers had opened fire after several people approached the border security fence, hitting one of them.
“The body of Amena Atiyyeh Qdeih, 57, was found near the border in the Khazaa area” close to the southern city of Khan Yunis, a health ministry spokesman said.
“She had been hit by several bullets,” the spokesman said, adding that her body could not immediately be retrieved because of continuing Israeli fire.
The Israeli military said troops had fired warning shots when several people failed to heed instructions to keep back from the security fence.
“The suspects continued to move forward, so the soldiers fired at their legs, hitting one of them,” a spokesman said.
Both neighbors and the Gaza Health Ministry said the dead woman suffered from mental health problems.
The shooting came after an Israeli aircraft hit a suspected rocket launch site in the north of the Gaza Strip late on Friday.
Tensions have risen in and around Gaza after a year of relative calm.
An increase in Israeli raids and Palestinian rocket attacks, as well as border incidents, has stoked fears of a new confrontation between Israel and the territory’s Hamas government.