IDF denies youth killed in Gaza

March 30, 2010 20:15

Palestinian sources report 1 killed, 16 wounded in Land Day demonstrations.

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Palestinians participate in a Land Day in the nort

land day protest 311. (photo credit: AP)

A 15-year-old Palestinian boy was reportedly shot dead on Tuesday during an anti-Israel demonstration along the Gaza Strip border fence.

The IDF confirmed that soldiers fired warning shots in the air after a group of Palestinians approached the fence in the southern Gaza Strip, but said that no one was injured in the shooting. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported that the boy, Muhammad al-Farmawi, was shot after approaching the barrier near the Dahaniya airport.

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Additionally, a nine-year-old Gazan boy was reported seriously wounded by IDF fire during another demonstration. Palestinian sources reported 15 others hurt.

“The demonstrators knowingly occupied a zone in which movement is forbidden and attempted several times to reach the security barrier,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson. “As a result, it is possible that a number of demonstrators were hurt.”

The statement noted that the matter was being investigated.

The strip of land separating the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip from the Israeli side of the security barrier is sometimes exploited by terrorists wishing to plant bombs near the fence, kidnap IDF soldiers or carry out attacks against Israel.

“IDF troops work constantly to ensure the security of residents of the Gaza belt and citizens of the State of Israel and will not allow any activity that endangers their security,” the IDF statement concluded.

“There can be no Palestinian state without Jerusalem and without Al-Aksa,” a-Sanaa reportedly declared; fellow party member Ahmed Tibi was said to have expressed criticism of Israel’s “racist” laws and mindset.

MKs Ibrahim Sarsour (UAL-TAAL) and Haneen Zoabi (Balad), as well as members of the northern and southern branches of the Islamic Movement, also attended the demonstration.

At a similar demonstration in Sakhnin, over 10,000 protesters spoke out against recent demolitions of Arab homes and “anti-Arab” bills such as the Nakba Law. Two of the demonstrators, their faces masked, held up posters depicting Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

After more than a year of quiet, tensions along the Gaza border have risen recently. Last week two soldiers and two Palestinian gunmen were killed in clashes, after troops crossed the fence to confront terrorists placing bombs just over the border.

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