Palestinian killed at Gaza border fence

Ramallah, West Bank - The Israeli military shot and killed one Palestinian near the border fence with Gaza on Friday, an official in the territory said. The military said that he was part of a group who rushed the fence to try to damage it.

A military spokesman said soldiers warned the Palestinians to back off before firing first into the air and then toward the men's legs. Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said one man was killed by the fire.

File photo: Israeli soldiers keep watch as Palestinian youths demonstrate next to the security fence standing on the Gaza border with Israel. Credit: AFP

Such border incidents have been less common since eight days of fighting between the Jewish state and Gaza militants at the end of last year that ended in a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the group that rules the coastal territory.

In the West Bank, meanwhile, activists pitched tents to protest Israeli plans to build a large Jewish settlement on a key route through the territory.

The group said in a statement they erected the tents to “establish facts on the ground,” using a phrase often applied to Israeli settlement building, in a key area known as E-1.

The E-1 settlement would block east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland - both territories captured by Israel during the 1967

Mideast war.

The Palestinians want those areas, along with the Gaza Strip, for a future state. Critics say the E-1 settlement would be a major blow to Palestinian statehood hopes.

Police said the activists were informed they were trespassing.

Israel announced it is moving forward with the E-1 settlement after the U.N. recognized a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in November. The U.S. strongly opposes the E- 1 project.

Israeli officials have said construction may be years away. - Sapa-AP