Israeli troops were forced to fire into a crowd of protesters on Friday in the Gaza Strip after a rocket-propelled grenade was thrown into the crowd, killing one Israeli soldier.
The incident occurred near the northern town of Khan Younis, where residents have been protesting Israel’s military operation in the area, the army said.
The soldier was taken to a hospital and later died of his injuries.
The army said he was wounded by a rocket launched by a group of armed protesters during clashes in the southern part of the strip.
“The soldier sustained serious wounds and is now in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of Hadassah,” it said in a statement.
An Israeli army spokesman said in an email that the army “wielded all means to defend itself from the armed groups and that its soldiers fired warning shots at the protesters.”
He said that after initial investigations, “it is clear that the rocket was not fired by a militant group but was fired by members of the crowd.”
A Palestinian protester is detained by Israeli soldiers near the Israeli border fence at Beit Hanoun, southern Gaza Strip, December 15, 2015.