Two Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire During Protests in West Bank and Gaza

Authorities in Ramallah say 16-year-old killed, while Gaza Health Ministry says 25-year-old shot dead in border protests

A Palestinian uses a slingshot to throw rocks towards Israeli forces during a protest against land seizures for Jewish settlements in the West Bank on January 25, 2019.

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire during protests in the West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. According to Palestinian media reports, a rubbet bullet struck the teenager during a protest north of Ramallah against land seizures for Jewish settlements.

Meanwhile, the Gaza Health Ministry said a 25-year-old Palestinian was shot dead and at least 20 others were wounded by Israeli fire as thousands protested for yet another week at the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Gaza authorities named the man who was killed as Ehab Attallah Hussein Abed.

An Israeli military statement said three suspects had been throwing stones at vehicles driving on a highway near the village of Silwad in the West Bank. Soldiers fired on the suspects, who received medical treatment by Israeli forces at the scene, the statement said. "One suspect later died of his wounds and another suspect was wounded," the military said. "The incident will be investigated."

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The Palestinian Health Ministry also said that three Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli troops near the settlement of Tekoa and the village of Ras Karkar.

Earlier Friday, Qatari diplomat Muhammed al-Emadi, visiting Gaza, said Qatari funds that were supposed to arrive in Gaza but were refused by Hamas on Thursday will be redirected to humanitarian projects in the Strip in coordination with the United Nations. 

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have orchestrated the weekly protests, in part to call for the lifting of a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed when the militant group seized power in 2007. The blockade has devastated the local economy in Gaza, where unemployment exceeds 50 percent.

Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as a cover for attacks and says it only uses force to defend its borders. But Palestinians and rights groups accuse it of using excessive force.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.