BREAKING NEWS: Israeli forces shoot child on Gaza border November 28, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  27 November 2010

A Palestinian boy was shot and injured by Israeli forces in Beit Lahiya Saturday morning, after soldiers opened fire on the boy, who was with a group of men collecting stone aggregates along the Gaza-Israel border.

Medics said the unidentified 12-year-old was shot in the foot and evacuated to the Kamal Udwan Hospital where he was treated for the moderate injury.

An Israeli military spokesperson said soldiers identified “a number of suspects approaching the fence,” adding that the group was only 50 meters from the border, in an area where a more than one kilometer no-go zone is enforced by Israeli troops.

“The area is used by terror groups to launch attacks on Israel and kidnap soldiers,” the spokeswoman said, adding that forces fired warning shots into the air, and when the workers “failed to consent” to the warning and evacuate, soldiers shot at their lower bodies.

“One hit was identified,” she said.

Gaza teenagers regularly risk injury or death to search for gravel in the ruins of abandoned Israeli settlement buildings along their side of the frontier.

Building materials are scarce in the coastal strip due to Israeli sanctions and gravel finds a ready cash market.

Figures provided by Geneva-based rights group Defence for Children International show that in the six months between March and October this year, 14 teenage gravel-pickers were wounded by Israeli fire — with those injured being shot in an area ranging from 50 to 800 metres from the border.

Israel says the no-go area is needed to prevent Palestinian snipers and bombers from reaching, and maybe breaching, the border fence.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian fisherman on the shore of the northern Gaza Strip was shot in the foot on Saturday, medics said.

Spokesperson of Gaza’s medical services Adham Abu Silmiyya said a 19-year-old man was injured in his left foot and was evacuated to the Kamal Udwan Hospital in Jabalia.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers identified the man in an area known as a “no go zone,” and after firing in the air, “had to fire toward his lower body.”

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