Israeli troops kill Gaza teens during border protests: medics

A protester raises a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli forces across the border following a demonstration east of Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on September 6, 2019. (AFP)

Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers including a 14-year-old boy during protests along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, Palestinian health officials said.

They named the dead as Khaled Al-Rabai, 14, and Ali Al-Ashqar, 17. Seventy protesters were wounded, 38 of them by live fire, medical officials said.

An Israeli military spokesman said that troops guarding the border were faced with more than 6,000 demonstrators at several points along the fence, some hurling explosive devices and firebombs.

He said that some briefly managed to cross the fence before returning to Gaza, and that Israeli forces responded with riot dispersal measures. The spokesman did not comment on the deaths.
 

The father of Palestinian Khaled al-Rabaee who was killed during clashes following a demonstration at the Israeli-Gaza border fence, reacts at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on September 6, 2019. (AFP)

The father of Palestinian Khaled al-Rabaee who was killed during clashes following a demonstration at the Israeli-Gaza border fence, reacts at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on September 6, 2019. (AFP)

A few hours later five projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, the Israeli military confirmed after rocket warning sirens sounded in the Israeli border town of Sderot and two nearby villages shortly before midnight.

One rocket fell in an open field but there were no injuries, Israeli media reports said.

Israel responded with tank and air strikes on a number of Hamas military targets in the northern Gaza Strip, an Israeli military spokesman said. Palestinian officials said no one was injured.

Protesters have staged 18 months of weekly demonstrations dubbed the "Great March of Return", calling for an end to a security blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt, and for Palestinians to have the right to return to land from which their families fled or were forced to flee during Israel’s founding in 1948.

Israel rejects any such return, saying that would eliminate its Jewish majority.

Around 210 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began in March 2018, Gaza medical officials say.

In that period, an Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the frontier, and another was killed during an Israeli undercover raid into Gaza.

Israel seized Gaza in a 1967 war and pulled out its settlers and troops in 2005. It says the security blockade is necessary to stop weapons reaching Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel and fired thousands of rockets at it in the past decade.

The regular weekend protests were launched to demand the easing of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has crippled the territory since 2007.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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