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Palestinian teen dies after being shot during clash with Israeli soldiers

Palestinian teen dies after being shot during clash with Israeli soldiers
Mourners near Ramallah carry the body of Laith Khalidi, 17, who was killed during clashes with Israeli troops. (Nasser Nasser / Associated Press)

A Palestinian teenager died of wounds Saturday sustained a day earlier during a West Bank protest against an arson attack on a Palestinian family that killed a toddler and critically injured his parents and brother.

The attack, believed to have been carried out early Friday by suspected Jewish extremists, enraged Palestinians and sent shock waves through much of Israel and fears that it could ignite further violence.

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Laith Khalidi, 17, died from his wounds after he was shot during clashes with Israeli solders near Ramallah, according to the Maan news agency.

Thousands in Israel on Saturday attended rallies against violence and in favor of tolerance, denouncing the firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma that killed Ali Dawabshe, 1, as well as a knife attack on a gay pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday carried out by a Jewish extremist.

"We must put out the flames of incitement before they destroy us all," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said at a Jerusalem rally. "Israel needs a wake-up call."

In Tel Aviv, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, told thousands at a rally: "Terrorists are terrorists, period. Whether they are Jews or Muslims.

"The Jewish nation is ashamed for acts perpetrated by our own.... We have come here today to express deep sorrow and seek forgiveness for this terrible crime."

Among the many speakers was Nasser Dawabshe, uncle of the young victim, who addressed the Israel crowd in Arabic. His voice faltered as he spoke through an interpreter but his message was clear. "They burned a family that was sleeping quietly, a family that loved its life, a family that does not believe in violence."

Prime Minister Benjamin "Netanyahu expressed his condolences, but we ask the Israeli army and the defense minister to bring security to the family, to the village of Duma and all Palestinian villages," Dawabshe said. "Why was Ali killed? He was 18 months old, what did he do to settlers?"

The child's parents and 4-year-old brother, who suffered extensive burns, remained in grave condition in Israeli hospitals.

Professor Yossi Hayek of Sheba Medical Center said the surviving child could face six months of hospitalization. His mother's condition was critical, due in part to lung damage, Hayek said.

Sobelman is a special correspondent.

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