GAZA, (Reuters) – Israeli troops shot and wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Friday, a day after Israel’s prime minister said he could order renewed assaults if needed to prevent militant factions posing a threat to a shaky truce.
Palestinian rescue workers and residents said the two men were unarmed. They were shot in separate incidents in northern Gaza, not far from border areas with Israel, they said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was not aware of any shootings, adding the army was checking the reports.
Israeli forces have shot and wounded several Palestinians this week in Gaza. The army said the men were acting suspiciously along the Israeli-built border fence.
Militants have launched 20 rockets at Israel since the Nov. 26 ceasefire.
The international community hopes the truce can lead to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Talks foundered in 2000, before the start of a Palestinian uprising.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged restraint on Thursday but said Israel would not stand idly by if militant groups used the truce to expand their forces and build up weapons stocks.
The deal does not extend to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, another territory where Palestinians seek statehood.