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Page last updated at 22:43 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 23:43 UK

Shots exchanged over Gaza border

Israeli soldiers run for cover on a beach close to the Gaza Strip (24 August 2009)
An Israeli soldier was lightly injured by the rocket fire

A Palestinian man has been killed and an Israeli soldier injured in exchanges of fire over the Israel-Gaza border.

The dead man was one of two farmers fired at across the border, said Gaza medical officials. But Israel said the men had been acting suspiciously.

Later, at least two mortar shells were fired into Israel, landing on a beach and injuring an Israeli soldier.

The area has been largely quiet since the end of Israel's offensive into Gaza at the start of the year.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers fired on the Palestinian men after they had ignored "the usual warnings" to move away from the border, killing one and injuring at least one more.

She said an injured man had been given medical treatment by the Israeli army.

Shortly afterwards, at least two rockets were fired from northern Gaza, landing on a beach in Israel which was then evacuated.

Attacks by Gaza-based Palestinian militants have dropped in recent months, with two rockets and a mortar falling in Israel in July, and two rockets in June.

The Israeli military says about 700 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel since the start of the year - which includes most of Israel's 22-day military offensive in December and January.

Israel says the operation and its intensive blockade of Gaza are aimed at ending rocket fire and weakening the Hamas movement, which controls the enclave.



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