Israeli tanks and helicopters stationed at the eastern border between Israel and the Gaza Strip opened fire Tuesday, killing a Palestinian man and wounding five others.The Israeli military claims that the men were attempting to place explosives near the border wall east of Khan Younis, a claim that could not be confirmed by local eyewitnesses.
Palestinian medical sources identified the deceased as Hassan Abu Rok Qadeeh, a member of the local branch of the Popular Resistance Committees â€“ one of a number of armed resistance groups formed by the Palestinians to resist Israeli military occupation and siege of their land.
According to a statement by an Israeli military spokesperson, â€śSoldiers, with air support, opened fire on members of a terrorist cell that was trying to place an explosive device near the security barrier.â€ť
The Popular Resistance Committees issued a statement confirming the death, saying Qadeeh was killed in a â€śZionist shelling east of Khan Yunis.â€ť The identities of the injured men is unknown, and it is not known whether they were fighters or civilians.
At least 16 Palestinians, half of them resistance fighters and the other half shepherds and farmers, have been killed by Israeli troops in December alone. No Israelis have been killed or injured by Palestinian factions in that time.