- Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Teenagers in Latest Gaza Protests
Palestinian protests along the fence separating Israel and Gaza are in their 46th week. More than 250 Palestinians have been killed and some 6,000 injured by live Israeli fire during this period.
Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers during protests along the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip on Friday. Hassan Shalabi, 14, was killed by Israeli sniper fire to the chest at one protest site in the Gaza Strip, and Hamza Ishtiwi, 18, received a fatal bullet wound in the neck at another demonstration, the Gaza Health Ministry said.
Another 17 protesters were wounded by live Israeli fire at five separate demonstration sites, it added. The Israeli military did not comment on the teenagers’ deaths, but said the barbed wire separation fence and “brave” soldiers prevented 8,000 “violent rioters” from infiltrating Israel to harm civilians.
‘Standard operating procedure’
A military spokesperson said the demonstrators hurled rocks at Israeli troops and that several explosive devices landed on the Gaza side of the fence. Israeli troops “responded with riot dispersal means and fired according to standard operating procedures,” the spokesperson added.
Israel blames Gaza’s Hamas leaders for orchestrating regular Friday demonstrations known as the “Great March of Return,” now in their 46th week. Earlier this week, Israel began reinforcing its Gaza security fence with a galvanized steel barrier 65 kilometers (40 miles) long and six meters (20 feet) high.