Palestinian Teen Shot by Israeli Sniper Fire in Gaza

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The eyewitnesses said that dozens of Palestinian activists gathered close to the border fence between northeastern Gaza Strip and Israel and exploded sound bombs on Sunday night, Xinhua news agency reported.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed Friday by Israeli army gunfire near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

Fourteen-year-old Hassan Iyad Shalaby from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis and 18-year-old Hamza Mohammad Ishtiwi from the city of Gaza were both struck by the occupation's bullets today, the ministry said.

The protest campaign, launched by Gaza's Hamas rulers last March, has become a weekly event.

The settlements are seen as illegal under worldwide law and a major obstacle to peace, as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

A number of improvised explosives, rocks, and grenades were thrown at IDF troops as some Palestinians attempted damaging the border fence.

An Israeli military spokesperson said soldiers on Friday used riot dispersal equipment and opened fired "in accordance with standard operating procedures". The Israeli troops responded with barrages of tear gas and live fire. Earlier this week, Israel began reinforcing its fence, erecting a galvanized steel barrier six meters (20 feet) high that will run the length of Gaza's perimeter. The degree of violence on several occasions escalated into cross-border exchanges between Hamas and Israeli forces.

Gaza is home to 2 million Palestinians, almost all of them the stateless descendents of people who fled or were driven out of Israel on its founding in 1948.

The militant Hamas group demands an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed on the territory since 2007.

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