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Sunday, July 30, 2017
Maureen Clare Murphy-28 July 2017
Ashraf AmraAPA images
Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Friday amid ongoing protests over restrictions at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Hussein Abu Hasima, 16, became the sixth Palestinian to be killed during protests since the closure of al-Aqsa following a deadly shooting attack on police stationed outside it on 14 July.
Abu Hasima was shot by a soldier in the central Gaza Strip as youth confronted occupation forces along the boundary with Israel.
An Israeli army spokesperson claimed that its forces had fired at Palestinians who were burning tires, throwing stones towards soldiers and damaging the boundary fence.
Israeli forces are typically separated from Palestinians inside Gaza by fences and a large distance and are often in fortified positions, making it unlikely that protesting Palestinians could present a credible danger.
Seven others were reportedly injured by live fire during protests in Gaza on Friday.
Abu Hasima is the sixth Palestinian in Gaza to be killed by Israeli fire so far this year, and the 14th child killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Photos of Abu Hasima circulated on social media after his death:
Palestinian killed in West BankAnother Palestinian, 24-year-old Abdullah Ali Mahmoud Taqatqa, was slain by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day.
The Israeli military claimed that Taqatqa was attempting a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion junction when he was shot and killed.
However, an eyewitness told the Ma’an News Agency, a Palestinian outlet, that Taqatqa was walking towards Bethlehem and soldiers shot at him when he was around 20 meters away from them.
The witness said “one of the soldiers approached the martyr and turned him over with his foot and shot him more than five times, I swear that he didn’t have any type of knife with him or any kind of weapon.”
The Palestine Red Crescent Society told media that soldiers prevented its paramedics from accessing Taqatqa.
No Israelis were reported injured during the incident.
Taqatqa is the third Palestinian to be killed at the junction so far this year. The junction is the gate to one of Israel’s largest settlement blocs and the site of frequent deadly encounters between Palestinians and the heavily armed soldiers guarding the settlements.
Israel alleges that the two other Palestinians shot and fatally wounded at the site this year, one of them a 15-year-old girl named Fatima Taqatqa, were attempting car ramming attacks when soldiers fired at them.
Both Abdallah Taqatqa and Fatima Taqatqa are from the nearby village of Beit Fajjar.
Undated photos said to show Abdallah Taqatqa being detained by Israeli forces during a protest in Bethlehem circulated on social media after his death:
investigated as possible extrajudicial executions.
Also on Friday, a Palestinian was critically injured when he was shot by Israeli forces during a protest over restrictions at al-Aqsa in the town of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem.
A Palestinian who was shot in the head by soldiers during an al-Aqsa protest in the nearby village of Hizma on Monday died of his injuries on Thursday. Thousands of mourners buried Muhammad Fathi Kanaan, 25, in Hizma on Friday.
Fifty-four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire so far this year. Fourteen Israelis, most of them soldiers, and a British national have been killed by Palestinians during the same period.