Two Palestinians Killed, Dozens Wounded in Clashes with Israeli Troops in Gaza
Two Palestinian teenagers were killed and dozens were wounded in clashes Saturday with Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip as the territories ignited in further violence following the funerals of nine people killed the day before.
Mohammed al-Najjar, 13, was pronounced clinically dead by doctors after he was hit in the head by a live round in a confrontation with troops at Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip, hospital sources said.
Omar al-Moheissi, 15, was shot in the chest during clashes with troops protecting the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom, in the south of the Gaza Strip
Their deaths brought to 125 the number of people killed in a three-week wave of violence across the Palestinian territories, all but a handful of them Palestinians. More than 3,500 people have been wounded.
The 13-year-old died after a crowd of around 300 Palestinians were fired on by Israeli troops they had pelted with stones in scenes repeated across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army said a soldier had been slightly wounded after being hit by a petrol bomb during a confrontation in Rafah in which at least two Palestinians were wounded.
At least 59 Palestinians were wounded in the Gaza Strip, 53 of them in the Khan Yunis clash alone.
Four Palestinians were injured in another clash which broke out as youths attacked an army checkpoint at the Erez crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip, its main link with Israel.
The confrontations followed calls to support the Intifada in Khan Yunis and Gaza City by a group of Palestinian parties, including Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, and the radical fundamentalist Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups.
In the West Bank, youths tangled with soldiers at the northern edge of Ramallah in the West Bank after the funeral of a youth killed there on Friday. Three were injured.
Violence also broke out in Hebron, in the south of the West Bank, where four Palestinians were hurt by rubber-coated bullets fired by soldiers, witnesses said.
Fatah's West Bank leader Marwan Barghouti vowed the Intifada would continue until Israel ended its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
He said he did not have the power to stop the uprising, despite Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's threat to pull out of the peace process if violence persisted beyond this weekend's Arab summit.
"This intifada has confirmed that the Palestinian people have reached a degree where there is no way of coping with the occupation," Barghouti told reporters in Ramallah.
"Barak should end the occupation of the Palestinian people, he should relieve his people from the disease of the occupation and I'm sure this is also what the Israelis want," he said.
Further violence was expected in Nablus, where 20,000 angry mourners gathered in the West Bank town to bury four people killed in intense clashes Friday in one of the worst days of violence since the three-week-old uprising began.
Emotions were running high as convoys of cars rolled through the town, bearing men in ski-masks brandishing automatic rifles and posters of the dead, including a picture of one of the men after he was shot in the head.
Elsewhere, the Israeli army said it had killed in a firefight late Friday a member of an armed unit which tried to cross into Israel from Lebanon, the first incident of its kind since the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon on May 24.
Israel rejected a UN General Assembly resolution condemning "excessive use of force" against Palestinians -- KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip (AFP)
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