Israeli troops kill Palestinian boy on ‘Land Day’

A day commemorating the seizure of Palestinian land was marred Tuesday by the death of a Palestinian boy, shot by Israeli soldiers, near the Gaza border.

The 15-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed al-Faramawi, was killed east of southern Gaza town of Rafah. Gaza medics and witnesses confirmed that he was shot dead by Israeli forces who fired on Palestinians marking Land Day. Several others were wounded in the incident, Iran’s English Web site AlAlam News reported.

The death of the Palestinian teenager triggered demonstration near the site where he was shot by Israeli troops.

In a similar incident east of the town of Khan Yunis, Israeli soldiers fired live bullets at hundreds of Palestinians marking the day, witnesses said. Near the site of clashes, which left two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinians dead over the weekend, protesters hurled stones at troops along the border, who responded with live fire, witnesses said according to Saudi Web site Arab News.

Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services, said 11 people, including children, were wounded. One of them, nine-year-old Raid Abu Namus, was in serious condition, medics at a nearby hospital said.

Another Palestinian, 14, was shot in a similar incident near the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, according to Hassanein.

Land Day commemorates Israel’s killing of six Arab Palestinians in 1976 during protests against land confiscation. On the date demonstrations take place every year in the occupied West Bank, as well as in Gaza, to protest housing demolitions and land confiscations.

In the occupied West Bank the Palestinian Authority planted olive trees in honor of the event, and Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad used a plough near the town of Salfit in protest of Israeli control of Palestinian land, reported Agence France-Presse.

“This is a symbol of our complete rejection of settlers’ plans and of our people’s determination to hold onto and care for their land,” the Israeli Ynet news Web site quoted Fayyad as saying. “Our people are deeply rooted here.”

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