Two Palestinians Killed by IDF Fire, Day After Fatal West Bank Arson Attack

Gili Cohen
Jack Khoury
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A Palestinian jumps over burning tires during clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, following a deadly arson attack in which a Palestinian infant was killed, July 31, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Gili Cohen
Jack Khoury

Two Palestinian teens were killed by Israel Defense Forces during clashes on Friday, following a deadly arson attack in the West Bank in which a 18-month-old Palestinian toddler was burned to death and his family gravely wounded.

Laith Fadel al-Khaladi, 15, of Jifna, north of Ramallah, died after being shot by an IDF sniper, Palestinian medical officials said. According to the IDF, al-Khaladi was shot after he threw a firebomb at an army pillbox next to the town of Bir Zeit. He was evacuated by Red Crescent ambulance services to a hospital in Ramallah, where he died overnight.

On Friday evening, Mohammed Hamed al-Masri, also 17, was killed by IDF fire in northern Gaza, after he approached the border fence with Israel along with other youths in protest at Friday's arson attack. According to Palestinian sources, al-Masri was shot in the upper body, and later died in a Gaza hospital.

According to the IDF, there were two incidents of soldiers firing at Palestinians near the border fence in northern Gaza. In the first incident, two Palestinians approached the fence, the army said. When they were approximately 30 meters away, Israeli soldiers tried to stop their approach, including by shooting in the air. According to the IDF, the soldiers then fired at the two men, who did not move away from the fence, apparently aiming their fire below the Palestinians' waists. The men then distanced themselves from the fence, according to the IDF.

In the second incident, five Palestinians reportedly threw stones at border fence, after which IDF soldiers reportedly fired at their legs and warned them to keep their distance. The army then received reports that one Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire, though it remains unclear in which of the two shooting incidents Mohammed Hamed al-Masri was killed..

Another six Palestinians were wounded in Friday's clashes. A Palestinian sustained a gunshot wound to the leg during violent protests in Hebron, and four Palestinians were injured when IDF soldiers fired tear gas and Ruger bullets at around 30 Palestinian stone-throwers in the southern West Bank city of Halhul. Another Palestinian was wounded by Ruger bullets in Kfar Kadum in the West Bank.

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