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Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian protester during Gaza border clash

Mourners carry the body of Bilal Samer Oweidah during his funeral in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. He was shot by Israeli troops during a violent protest along the border with Israel.
(Hatem Moussa / Associated Press)

JERUSALEM -- A Palestinian man was killed and another injured Friday in the Gaza Strip when Israeli soldiers opened fire during a protest near the border with Israel, officials said.

The shooting occurred after a group of Palestinians damaged a stretch of border fence and hurled rocks and rolled burning tires toward soldiers on the Israeli side, the Israeli military said in a statement.

Palestinians in Gaza regularly hold demonstrations along the border, often after Friday prayers.

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According to the Israel Defense Forces statement, soldiers fired projectiles and warning shots in the air to disperse the crowd. “After all efforts were exhausted, the soldiers fired toward two main instigators,” it said.

Ashraf Kidra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry in Gaza, told the Palestinian news agency Maan that Bilal Samer Oweidah, 20, died after being shot in the chest. A 19-year-old was also hit and was being treated for a gunshot wound to the leg, he said.

It has been a violent week in Gaza.

On Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike killed two people, including a militant blamed for firing rockets across the border last week during former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral. On Sunday, a missile strike injured another militant whom security forces said had launched rockets into Israeli territory.

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Twitter: @katelinthicum

kate.linthicum@latimes.com


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