Egypt soldiers kill Palestinian at Gaza crossing: Ministry

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A 23-year-old man was shot in the back after eye-witnesses said a group of Palestinians jumped over the border fence into Egypt

The Rafah border is the only crossing in and out of Gaza not controlled by Israel (AA)
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Friday 13 February 2015 8:15 UTC
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Egyptian soldiers have shot and killed a Palestinian man on the Rafah border between Egypt and the blockaded Palestinian enclave, a spokesperson for Gaza's interior ministry said.

A 23-year-old Palestinian, whose name has not been released, was shot in the back on Friday, as eyewitnesses said that four Palestinians jumped over the border fence and entered Egypt illegally.

"A Palestinian citizen, aged 23, was killed by Egyptian army fire on the Egyptian-Palestinian border and the security agencies are investigating the incident to find out the motives," Iyad al-Bazm said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

Gaza health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP news agency that the man was shot "in the back and the bullet settled in the heart. He died on the spot".

The Egyptian army has not commented on the incident.

A witness at the scene told Anadolu news agency that "Egyptian soldiers saw four Palestinians trying to sneak into Egypt ... They arrested three of them after they crossed [the border] and shot the fourth in the back."

The Rafah border crossing is Gaza's only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, which only allows Palestinians to exit Gaza through the Erez crossing in exceptional circumstances.

On Tuesday, Egypt announced that work to double the width of a buffer zone along the Gaza border would begin next week. Construction of the 500-metre buffer zone along 10 kilometres of the border follows a 24 October suicide bombing that killed 30 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai region. Some 800 homes are being demolished in the process.

After that incident, Egypt declared a three-month emergency in parts of North Sinai, and closed the Rafah border crossing for two months.

Egypt reopened the crossing for three days in December to allow Palestinians to return to, and leave, the Gaza Strip.