Gaza City: A Gaza teenager died of his wounds on Saturday after being shot by Israeli troops during protests along the border, the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory said. A ministry statement identified him as Mohmen al-Hams, 17, and said he was shot in the chest during protests near the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Friday.
There has been persistent violence between the Israeli army and Palestinian protesters along the Gaza-Israel border since late March in which at least 157 Palestinians have been killed. Troops shot dead two Palestinians during Friday’s protests.
The Gaza health ministry said that one of them was a 12-year-old boy, shot east of Rafah.
It also reported the killing of Ghazi Abu Mustafa 43, and said he was shot in head by Israeli soldiers east of the southern city of Khan Yunis.
The Israeli military did not comment directly on the deaths but said about 7,000 Palestinian “rioters” threw rocks and rolled burning tyres at soldiers, and at the fence itself, at several locations along the border.
“Troops are responding with riot dispersal means and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement,” an English-language statement said Friday evening, without elaborating.
Hamas has pledged revenge after Israeli air and artillery strikes on the coastal enclave killed a number of its members in recent weeks.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
A week ago a Palestinian gunman shot and killed an Israeli soldier at the border, sparking a fierce wave of Israeli bombing that ratcheted up fears of a new conflict.
A degree of calm was restored until Wednesday when Israel said its troops came under fire again, with one soldier wounded.
It hit back with artillery fire which killed three Palestinians at a Hamas military base, east of Gaza City.
In response, the Hamas military wing warned that “the enemy shall pay a high price in blood for the crime which it commits daily against the rights of our people and our fighters”.