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Khan Younis: 2 teens dead, soldier injured

May 21, 2010 2:41 P.M. (Updated: May 23, 2010 9:21 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Two teenage Gaza residents were killed by Israeli forces as they snuck out of the Strip allegedly looking for work, Palestinian medics said on Friday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the two dead were identified as armed by troops, and killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces "right next to Nirim," an Israeli moshav in the western Negev.The spokeswoman thus confirmed reports by the operations room of the de facto government, which said "two resistance fighters were killed on the scene."

De facto government officials had described "fierce fighting" in the Khan Younis area, and Islamic Jihad said its Al-Qassam fighters clashed with Israeli forces but reported no injuries.

The army spokeswoman said soldiers exchanged fire with the two men, but medics later said the two were unarmed, and approximately 16-years-old.

According to the Al-Quds Brigades, their fighters did not enter Israel, where the army spokeswoman said two were killed, but rather clashed with troops near the border after they heard shots fired.

A statement from the brigades said fighters responded to the Israeli fire that killed the two boys.

Media coordinator for Gaza medical services Adham Abu Selmieyah hospital staff were coordinating with the Red Cross and the Israeli army to bring the bodies of the two back to Gaza.

The Al-Quds statement said that at 1:40 in the afternoon "a group of affiliates fought back Israeli forces that had suddenly approached the area east of Al-Faraheen in the Khan Younis district," and reported an exchange of fire.

The statement affirmed the right of the group to continue resistance activities.

At just after 8:30pm, an Israeli military spokeswoman said, sniper fire hit a soldier in what she described as a separate incident. The soldier was said to be in moderate condition.

Hours later, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, the Salah Din Brigades, claimed to have carried out the attack, releasing a statement to Ma'an saying the fire "came in response to the crimes of the Israeli occupation."
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