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Gazan killed by Israel troops on border

Israeli army JALAA MAREY / AFP

Israeli army<br />JALAA MAREY / AFP

Israeli troops shot and killed a Gazan teenager during clashes on Friday near the border fence, Palestinian sources said, with the Israeli military denying having used live fire.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra identified the teenager as 16-year-old Abdel Rahman al-Dabbagh, and said he was killed east of Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

Witnesses said a group of young Palestinians gathered near the security barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip and threw stones at Israeli lookout towers, prompting soldiers to open fire.

Qudra said the teenager was hit in the head and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Israeli army, however, stressed that forces only used tear gas to disperse the youths.

“Dozens of rioters breached the buffer zone and attempted to damage the security fence,” a military statement read.

“Attempting to prevent an escalation of violence, the forces stationed at the border used tear gas that led to the dispersal of the riot.”

“Following a preliminary review, the IDF (Israel defence forces) did not conduct the reported shooting,” the statement read.

The border region between Israel and Gaza is the scene of near weekly Friday confrontations.

Witnesses said dozens of young Palestinians pelted the lookout tower with stones and that the soldiers repeatedly opened fire at them.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and there are frequent flare-ups along the border.

Israel regularly responds to rocket fire from militants in Gaza with air strikes.

Last month, it carried out dozens of strikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire, a greater response than usual.

The Gaza Strip is run by the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas.

It has been under Israeli blockade for around a decade and its border with Egypt also remains largely closed.

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