A Palestinian teenager was shot dead yesterday by Israeli soldiers during clashes near the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, the territory’s health ministry said.
Fifteen-year-old Othman Rami Halles was killed east of Gaza City, while 220 other Palestinians were wounded as protests along the frontier spilt over into clashes, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said.
The Israeli military said in a statement that “thousands of Palestinians have been violently rioting” and that people “hurled grenades, explosive devices, and firebombs”.
It said troops were “responding with riot dispersal means and live fire in accordance with the rules of engagement” and had stopped an attempt to break through the border fence.
No soldiers were reported wounded. Palestinians in Gaza have for months been demonstrating against Israel’s decade-long blockade of the territory and in support of their right to return to lands they fled or were driven from during the war surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.
Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. The majority were involved in protests and clashes but others were seeking to breach or damage the border fence.
No Israelis have been killed.
Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations.
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