Palestinian in Gaza killed by Israeli army fire: health ministry

Gaza City: A Palestinian farmer was killed Saturday by Israeli army fire near the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, the health ministry of the Islamist movement Hamas said. A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian man who had entered a “banned zone” near Gaza’s border with Israel, but gave no further details.

The health ministry identified the farmer as 59-year-old Mohammed Abu Jumaa. The area around the border fence between Gaza and Israel is the scene of frequent demonstrations by Palestinians to protest the Israeli blockade of the enclave.

There has also been a rise of tension following the controversial announcement made in December by US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The move has angered Palestinians who consider the east of the city as the capital of their future state.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, run by Islamist movement Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008 and the territory has been under an Israeli blockade for more than 10 years.

UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov has warned that Gaza — which also suffers from water and power cuts, unemployment and poverty — was on the verge of “full collapse”.