Palestinian shot dead by Israeli troops becomes first be killed since ceasefire

A Palestinian farmer was killed while he was apparently searching for songbirds close to the border

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The Independent Online

A Palestinian farmer has become the first person to be shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza since a ceasefire was agreed in August, ending the 50-day war.

Palestinian health ministry officials identified the man as Fadel Mohammed Halawa, 32, who was shot dead as he approached the Israeli border.

It is claimed he was shot to the east of the Jabalya refugee camp.

The Israeli military has said that it fired warned shots at two Palestinians after they did not respond to calls for them to halt near a border fence.

A relative of Mr Halawa said he was searching for songbirds, which nest in trees in the area and fetch high prices at local markets.

The border strip between Israel and Gaza has long been considered a no-go area for Palestinians, as Israeli authorities are concerned that militants could plant bombs or carry out surveillance of military patrols.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed during the Gaza war, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Israeli authorities claim 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed by rockets and attacks by Hamas and other militant groups during the conflict.

Additional Reporting by Reuters