Child among four Palestinians killed during Friday's Gaza protests

Lydia Fleming
April 22, 2018

United Nations envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov has condemned the killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy during Friday's clashes between Palestinian protesters and IDF forces along the Gaza-Israel border.

Demonstrators turned out to border areas of the Gaza Strip for the fourth Friday in a row, on April 20, demanding the right to return to what they consider to be their land in Palestine.

The latest deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israel since the protests began in late March to 39.

Israeli troops shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub, and two young men, aged 24 and 25, in northern Gaza, rescue workers said.

Speaking at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Saeb Erekat said the International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched an initial investigation into Israeli "crimes" against the Palestinians. More than 1,600 have been wounded by live rounds in the past three weeks, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, however, slammed all criticism saying that Hamas was responsible for the teen's death.

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The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the fatal shootings. Videos circulated on social media appeared to show Ayoub having been shot in the head.

The planned six-week protest campaign reached its half-way point on Friday, which saw smaller crowds than in recent weeks.

The Israeli military says it's looking into the incident.

"Hamas continues to encourage violence against Israel while rioters use Molotov Cocktails and other means to damage the border fence and try and return to Israeli territory", Danon said.

According to The Committee to Protect Journalists, Israeli forces wounded four journalists covering Friday's protests.

Palestinian authorities claimed that Fadi was an expert in energy use and had contributed much to the field of electrical engineering and energy production, especially in Palestine, and had been targeted by Mossad because of this. Hamas is believed to hold the remains of two soldiers from a previous war with Israel.

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Among the thousands gathered to protest, at least hundreds were approaching the fence and throwing stones and burning tyres, an AFP correspondent said.

"Several kites crossed into Israel and were extinguished when required".

Prior to the protests, the IDF dropped pamphlets in Arabic from the sky, warning locals not to cooperate with Hamas and not to get too close to the border fence. It added: "Stay away from the fence and do not attempt to harm it; avoid using weapons and committing violent acts against Israeli security forces and Israeli citizens".

Israel says firebombs and explosive devices have also been used.

"As we once again mourn the loss of lives, the European Union calls on the Israel Defense Forces to refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protesters".

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The suspect, described as a light-skinned male wearing dark trousers and a dark, Puma hooded sweatshirt, remains at large. This had been the second killing of students there in five weeks, grieving and departing the campus tense.

Other reports by Info About Network

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