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Palestinian shot dead, 7 others injured by Israeli forces in Gaza

June 7, 2017 10:23 A.M. (Updated: June 8, 2017 1:30 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian protester and injured at least seven others with live fire Tuesday evening in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Clashes erupted east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, with Palestinians throwing stones toward the border area with Israel, when Israeli soldiers opened live fire at the demonstrators.

Spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that 25-year-old Fadi Ibrahim al-Najjar was shot dead with a live bullet.

Local sources told Ma’an that two other Palestinian demonstrators were injured with live bullets, though Reuters news agency cited residents and hospital officials as saying that seven others were shot and wounded.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that “dozens of Palestinians who attempted to damage the security fence along the border” were hurling rocks and rolling burning tires toward Israeli forces who “called out to the rioters to halt," and then "fired warning shots into the air.”

She said the Israeli army “was aware” of reports of one casualty, but would not confirm that al-Najjar had been killed or acknowledge the seven other casualties.

Separately, local sources said that clashes also erupted with Israeli forces Tuesday night east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, when at least four Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

After Israeli forces shot and critically injured a Palestinian teenager in the stomach with a live bullet during a protest in Gaza two weeks ago, rights group Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) denounced the Israeli army’s excessive use of live fire on Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

“Israeli forces’ frequent use of live ammunition at the Gaza border shows a pattern of disregard for Palestinian lives,” DCIP Accountability Program Director Ayed Abu Eqtaish said, and deplored the fact that accountability for injuries and fatalities in such cases “is extremely rare.”

According to Ma’an documentation, al-Najjar became the 29th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since the beginning of the year, many of whom were shot during clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory.

On Monday night, a Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot dead by an Israeli security guard during clashes in the Palestinian-majority town of Kafr Qasim in central Israel.

In 2016, seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, when 18 Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory -- out of more than 100 Palestinians to be killed by Israelis over the course of the year.

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the past year for what rights groups have referred to as “extrajudicial executions” and excessive use of force against Palestinians -- especially youth and children -- who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been disarmed through non-lethal means, particularly during clashes.
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