An Israeli intelligence officer with the Shin Bet covert intelligence service of the Israeli armed forces was killed on Tuesday by other Israeli troops while carrying out an operation in the Gaza Strip.The man was apparently ‘undercover’ and pretending to be a Palestinian when his fellow soldiers saw him near the border fence and opened fire on him.

Israeli authorities report that the incident is under investigation, but have not released any details, including the name of the officer who was killed.

Israeli forces stationed on the Gaza border are instructed by their superior officers to fire live ammunition at any person they see near the border fence. Israel has established a ‘kill zone’ of hundreds of meters along the fence, effectively seizing that land from the Palestinians who owned it and ‘shooting to kill’ anyone who enters the zone.

It is not yet known what Israeli Shin Bet agents were doing in Gaza, and what kind of ‘operation’ they were attempting to carry out.

The agency has faced international condemnation in recent months when surveillance videos showed Shin Bet officers infiltrating hospitals disguised as patients – even one dressed as a pregnant Palestinian woman – in order to carry out extrajudicial assassinations of Palestinian hospital patients, in direct contravention of international law.