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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 16:08 GMT
Two Palestinians shot in Gaza
Gaza-Israel perimeter fence
Gaza's perimeter fence is heavily fortified and continually patrolled
Israeli forces have shot and injured two Palestinians in separate incidents on the Gaza perimeter fence, according to the Israeli military.

In the first incident, Israeli soldiers shot a man who appeared to be laying a mine near the border.

The second shooting occurred when a Palestinian man ignored soldiers' warnings near the Erez crossing.

An Israeli spokesman said the first incident occured when two men approached the fence along the Gaza

border.

There has been a ceasefire in place for more than a week, despite the latest violence and a number of incidents of Palestinians firing rockets into Israel from Gaza.

Explosive charge

The men appeared to be attempting to lay an explosive charge and were driven off with warning shots.

However, they returned with a crowd of several dozen people and made a second attempt to place the explosives, a military spokesman said.

One of the men was then shot in the leg as he lay on the ground, apparently placing a mine.

Palestinian health officials said two civilians were treated for leg wounds after being shot by Israeli forces, the Associated Press news agency reported.

These are the first casualties in Gaza since a ceasefire was declared around a week and a half ago, despite a number of rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel.

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says there is little optimism either in Gaza or Israel that the truce will hold for long.


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