Two Palestinian teens killed by Israeli fire in border clashes: Gaza ministry




Palestinians in Gaza have been staging demonstrations along the border with Israel for nearly a year, calling on Israel to end its blockade of the enclave
Palestinians in Gaza have been staging demonstrations along the border with Israel for nearly a year, calling on Israel to end its blockade of the enclave  

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Two Palestinian teenagers were killed by Israeli fire on Friday during clashes along the Gaza border, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.

Hassan Shalabi, 14, was killed by "live fire to the chest east of Khan Yunis" during protests along the frontier with Israel in the southern Gaza Strip, the ministry said.

It announced the death of 18-year-old Hamza Ishtawi shortly after, saying he was shot in the neck during similar clashes east of Gaza City.

Another 17 Palestinians were shot and wounded at different protest sites along the border, the ministry added.

The Israeli army declined to comment on the deaths, but said 8,200 "rioters and demonstrators" had been protesting along the frontier.

"They are hurling rocks at (Israeli) troops and towards the security fence, as well as a number of explosive devices that did not cross the fence," a spokesman said, adding that they had heard grenade explosions.

Israeli troops "responded with riot dispersal means and fired according to standard operating procedures", he added.

Palestinians in Gaza have for nearly a year gathered at least weekly along the border for often-violent protests, calling on Israel to end its blockade of the enclave.

Israel says it is protecting its borders and accuses Hamas of orchestrating the protests.

At least 249 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then, the majority shot during clashes, though others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.

Protests have dwindled in recent months after an informal agreement between Israel and Hamas.

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