An 18-year-old Palestinian was killed during a rock-throwing protest near the Gaza-Israel border on Friday and a Palestinian health official said Israeli soldiers shot him, but the Israeli army said troops were not responsible, Reuters reported.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said Abdel-Rahman Al-Dabbagh was killed by an Israeli bullet to the head during the border clash in the central Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, another Palestinian was injured with live fire during clashes near Nahal Oz east of al-Shujaiyya in the Gaza Strip.
Witnesses said that dozens of youths had gathered in several areas near the border with Israel, as clashes erupted with Israeli forces who opened live fire at the protestors.
The Israeli military said troops had sought to contain the violence on the other side of the border fence and had used only tear gas.
“Dozens of rioters breached the buffer zone and attempted to damage the security (border) fence. … Forces stationed at the border used tear gas that led to the dispersal of the riot. Following a preliminary review, the Israel Defense Forces did not conduct the reported shooting,” a military statement said.
In violence since October in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, at least 210 Palestinians have been killed, 141 of whom Israel said were assailants. Others died during clashes and protests.
Palestinians, many of them acting alone and with rudimentary weapons, have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans.
Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion in Israeli-occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state.
The majority of the slain Palestinians were shot dead during protests along the security barrier near Israel.
During the height of the protests, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip crowded near the border with Israel nearly every Friday to show solidarity with what Palestinians in Gaza have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
More than 1,500 Gazans have been injured by Israeli forces since the start of 2015, the vast majority during clashes that broke out with the Israeli military during protests since October, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Palestinian youths still routinely engage in protests near the border with Israel to demand an end to the near decade-long siege on the small coastal enclave, with Israeli forces regularly opening live fire on the demonstrators, resulting in scores of Palestinians being wounded.
The Israeli-imposed blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into poverty. The destruction from three Israeli offensives over the past six years and slow reconstruction due to the blockade led the UN in September to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.