x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

‘Mentally ill’ Gaza woman killed by Israeli fire

Amena Atiyyeh Qdeih was found dead near the border close to the southern city of Khan Yunis, a Gaza health ministry spokesman said.

GAZA CITY // A mentally ill Gazan woman was shot dead by Israeli troops near the border yesterday.

Amena Atiyyeh Qdeih, 57, was found dead 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 soldiers had opened fire after several people approached the border security fence, hitting one of them.

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 residents and the Gaza health ministry said the dead woman suffered from mental health problems.

The shooting comes after an Israeli aircraft hit a suspected rocket launch site in the north of the Gaza Strip late on Friday.

It also comes after Amnesty International report released on Thursday that called Israeli security forces “trigger happy” and said attacks on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank amounted to war crimes.

“The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers – and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators – suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Tensions between Israeli troops and Palestinians 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 have stoked fears of a new confrontation between Israel and the territory’s Hamas rulers.

* Agence France-Presse