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Palestinian shot dead by Israeli army in Gaza
July 29, 2017
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Gaza City: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager and wounded seven others on Friday during clashes near the border fence in Gaza, said the health ministry of the Hamas movement that rules the enclave.

Abdulrahman Abu Hmeisa, 16, was killed in the clashes east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said.

He said seven others were also wounded by Israeli gunfire by the border fence.

An army spokeswoman, contacted by AFP, said soldiers opened fire at demonstrators trying to damage the security fence that separates the Jewish state from the Palestinian territory, without being able to confirm the casualties.

Warning shot were initially fired as protesters set fire to tyres and hurled stones, she said.

The clashes erupted after hundreds of youths reached the border area in response to a call by Hamas for protests to take place in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Israel barred men under 50 from Friday prayers at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site after two weeks of tensions and deadly unrest, leading thousands of Palestinians to hold mass prayers outside.

Thousands of others entered the Haram Al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, for prayers after Palestinians ended a boycott of the site the previous day.

Despite fears of violent clashes around the compound, which includes Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the area was largely calm following Friday’s midday prayers.

Dozens of young Palestinians shouted and protested near one entrance to the compound and minor scuffles broke out with police.

Clashes did erupt between Israeli forces and Palestinians in parts of the occupied West Bank, including in the Nablus, Bethlehem and Hebron areas, the Israeli army said.

A Palestinian also attempted to stab soldiers at a junction in the West Bank and was shot dead by Israeli forces, according to the Israeli army.

And Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager and wounded seven others during clashes near the border fence in Gaza, Palestinian authorities in the enclave said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent recorded 52 injuries in total, including 22 from live or rubber bullets.

Tensions at the holy site were high − even after thousands of worshippers returned to the compound on Thursday, ending a boycott over new security measures set up following an attack that killed two policemen.

The outside prayers on Friday were due to the Israeli age restrictions and were not the start of a new boycott, after Israel removed the security measures this week.

“It was a victory for you and for your beliefs and for Jerusalem,” Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein told worshippers at Al-Aqsa of the boycott. Police said early in the day there were “indications that disturbances and demonstrations will take place today”, prompting them to bar men under 50 from praying at Al-Aqsa.

Roads around Jerusalem’s Old City, where the compound is located, were closed and some 3,500 police were deployed.

The head of the Arab League warned on Thursday that Israeli attempts to control highly sensitive religious sites in Jerusalem by force risk igniting a “religious war”.

Israel’s actions are “playing with fire, and will only ignite a religious war and shift the core of the conflict from politics to religion”, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said.

He was speaking at an urgent meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on the latest violence in Jerusalem.

“I invite the occupying state (Israel) to carefully learn the lessons from this crisis and the message it holds,” Abul Gheit said in a televised speech.

“Handling holy sites lightly and with this level of arrogance seriously threatens to ignite a religious war, since not one single Muslim in the world would accept the desecration of (Jerusalem’s) Al-Aqsa mosque,” he said.

Protests and deadly unrest have erupted in the days since Israel installed new metal detectors on July 16 outside the entrance to the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.


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