GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP.- Israeli troops shot and killed three Palestinians who tried to breach the Gaza border fence, the military said on Sunday, adding that an axe and a wire cutter were found in their possession.
Soldiers fired tank shells and machine guns at the men, according to a Palestinian medic, Izzat Shatat. He said the men had been close to the border fence, but that he was not sure if they actually crossed into Israel.
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The attempted breach came at a time of heightened tension on the Gaza-Israel border, including more than a month of weekly mass protests near the fence. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have said the marches would continue until a decade-old blockade of the territory by Israel and Egypt is lifted.
More protests are expected on Friday, as well as on May 14 and 15. On May 14, the United States is to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, whose Israeli-annexed eastern sector is sought for a Palestinian capital.
The move is seen by Palestinians as a U.S. breach of long-standing promises to help negotiate a fair arrangement for the contested city. On the following day, Palestinians mark the “nakba,” or catastrophe, to commemorate the anniversary of their mass uprooting during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.