Two Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers in clash

Israeli soldiers kill two Palestinians in Gaza during stone-throwing clash

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An Israeli soldier aims a weapon at Palestinian protesters during clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem January 15, 2016.

Updated Jan 16, 2016

A Palestinian medical official said Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinians during a clash near the Gaza border on Friday.

Two men were killed, an 18-year-old and the second aged 26, both had been throwing stones along with dozens of others near the border, spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry Ashraf Al Qidra said.

On the other hand an Israeli military spokeswoman said that dozens of Palestinians had been rioting near the occupied Gaza border.

She said that Israeli soldiers had fired warning shots in the air before shooting at people near the fence.

According to Israeli records at least 147 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers since October. 24 Israelis and a US citizen have been killed by Palestinians in the same period allegedly during stabbing, car rammings and gun attacks.

After the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Israel restarted its settlement policies which caused anger among Palestinians in the region.

The US State Department Spokesman John Kirby condemned Israel for its decision to expand the boundary of an existing West Bank settlement bloc saying the decision "undermines the possibility of two state solution."

Israeli Defence Ministry added a compound in the West Bank to the jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion regional council. The compound is located south of a junction in the West Bank which has witnessed heavy fighting between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Palestinians are seeking statehood for the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as the proposed capital. They consider all Israeli construction in the West Bank to be illegal, a stance that is backed by the international community, which sees settlement building as undermining international efforts to reach a two-state solution.

Also stoking the violence has been Muslim opposition to increased Israeli visits to Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque complex, which is one of the holiest sites in Islam and is revered in Judaism as the location of two biblical temples.

TRTWorld and agencies