Israeli army gunfire wounds 2 Gazans: Palestinians

Israeli army gunfire wounded two Palestinians near northern Gaza's border with the Jewish state on Thursday, an official with the Hamas government said.

Gaza's health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said one was in serious condition after being hit in the chest, while the other was in moderate condition. The incident occurred east of the town of Beit Hanun.

An army spokesman said that "several Palestinians gathered near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip, and began damaging the fence."

"During the attempts made by IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers to distance the rioters, one rioter was injured by IDF fire."

Four Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since a November 21 ceasefire with the Islamist movement Hamas which rules the coastal territory ended a bloody eight-day conflict.

The Egypt-brokered ceasefire stipulates the Israeli army grant Palestinian farmers access to arable land in a buffer zone along the border and allow them to approach up to 100 metres (yards) from the security barrier.