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Israeli forces injure two with live fire in Gaza clashes

Oct. 7, 2016 8:41 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2016 10:25 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reportedly injured two Palestinians with live fire on Friday during clashes in the eastern Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

Palestinian medical sources in Gaza told Ma'an two people were shot and injured, while a third suffered from tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces opened fire at a protest east of Gaza City in the central Gaza Strip.

Clashes also reportedly broke out east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip near the eastern border with Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli outposts near Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis in the southern besieged coastal enclave opened fire at Palestinian farmlands in the area, though no injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Most recently, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli forces during clashes in al-Bureij camp after they shot him in the head with live fire.

Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) released a report Tuesday revealing that the boy, Abd al-Rahman al-Dabbagh, did not pose a threat to soldiers when they shot him on Sept. 9 during clashes near the border fence that had been raging for hours.

Al-Dabbagh and other youth were throwing stones as well as unactivated tear gas canisters previously fired by Israeli forces at the protesters, when soldiers fired a flare cartridge directly at the teen, hitting him in the forehead above his left eye, setting him on fire and killing him, according to witnesses.

The witnesses added that al-Dabagh was approximately 15 to 20 meters from the border fence when he fell to the ground engulfed in flames.

"Israeli forces routinely misuse 'less-lethal' weapons and projectiles to directly target Palestinian children, killing and injuring them with impunity," DCIP's report quoted Ayed Eqtaish, the organization's accountability program director, as saying. "Rampant disregard for international law combined with no accountability ensures the situation will continue to deteriorate for Palestinian children.”

According to Ma’an documentation, al-Dabagh was among 23 Palestinians, including four minors, to be killed by Israeli forces during clashes in the Gaza Strip since last October, when protesters began gathering every Friday at border areas in the Gaza Strip to show solidarity with what Palestinians in Gaza have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In a single day on Oct. 6 , 2015, six Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army during demonstrations in Gaza.

The so-called “buffer zone” where al-Dabagh and protesters have been killed was unilaterally declared a “no-go-zone” by Israel in 2005, “illegally restricting Palestinians from accessing their own lands,” DCIP noted.

“The exact range of the buffer zone is unclear and Palestinians often only know they have strayed into the buffer zone when Israeli soldiers across the border fence fire at them.”

Both B’Tselem and DCIP highlighted in their reports the culture of impunity reserved for Israeli forces who kill Palestinians, noting the unlikelihood that the Israeli soldier who killed al-Dabagh be held accountable.

“Accountability for shootings by Israeli forces is extremely rare, and Israel routinely defends or denies using lethal force against children,” said DCIP, while B’Tselem affirmed that “if an investigation does take place, experience shows the chances of it leading to any substantive results are extremely low.”

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