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Palestinian Territories

Israeli forces kill two teenage Palestinian protesters in West Bank

Two Palestinian teenagers have been shot dead during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. The violence comes amid a third day of protests over the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody.

The Israeli army said soldiers fired Wednesday on Palestinians who threw fire bombs at a guard post near the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank.

The body of 17-year-old Amer Nassar was quickly recovered Wednesday and a second body, that of Naji Belbisi, 17, was found in the early hours of Thursday, Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli army said it was investigating the incident, which left at least one other Palestinian wounded.

Days of unrest

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza strip have been protesting since the death of 64-year-old Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh on Tuesday. The 64-year-old, who was serving a life sentence in Israel for his involvement in an attempted Jerusalem café bombing, had been suffering from throat cancer.

Palestinian officials blamed Israel for Abu Hamdiyeh's death, and the country has been accused of denying him proper medical care. Israel denied allegations of mistreatment.

Protests across the West Bank Wednesday saw hundreds of Palestinians throw rocks and roll burning tires at soldiers, prompting a response of tear gas, the Israeli military said. Meanwhile, around 4,600 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel announced a three-day hunger strike.

Israeli jets earlier in the day carried out the first airstrike on the Gaza Strip since an Egyptian-brokered truce ended fighting in November. Eight days of fighting between Gaza militants and Israel killed some 170 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, and six Israelis.

The military said Wednesday it was responding to rockets fired into Israel by an Islamist group, while the group said they had fired rockets in response to Abu Hamdiyeh's death.

dr/jm (AP, Reuters)

DW.DE