Palestinian child killed by Israeli fire on Gaza border
A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border overnight Thursday, Gaza's health ministry said, following protests on the besieged landstrip's border.
Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said Saif al-Deen Abu Zeid, 15, was shot on the Gaza border and died "due to wounds sustained east of Gaza (City)".
An Israeli army spokeswoman did not comment on the specific incident but said hundreds of "rioters" had hurled rocks and explosive devices at troops along the border.
Soldiers responded according to "standard operating procedures", she said.
The United Nations accused Israel last week of committing "crimes against humanity" after killing hundreds of Palestinians, including children, when retaliating to largely peaceful protests in the besieged Gaza strip.
Israeli fighter jets later struck several sites belonging to Hamas, who govern the strip, in the south of the enclave, an army statement said.
The military said the strikes were "in response to the balloons carrying explosive devices and the projectile that were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory earlier this evening".
|Palestinians carry the dead body of 15-year-old Saif al-Deen Abu Zeid in Gaza City [Anadolu Agency/Getty]|
A Palestinian security source said a Hamas base was struck in southern Gaza, causing damage but no injuries.
It was the fifth such Israeli air strike since Saturday.
The increase in violence has raised fears a fragile truce agreed in November between Israel and Hamas could collapse, with both sides accusing the other of breaching the terms of the informal agreement.
The informal truce, under which Israel would allow Qatari aid to enter Gaza in exchange for calm on the border, was struck in November.
At least 252 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during the weekly border protests, while others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.
The weekly protests, dubbed the "Great Return March", have been taking place for nearly a year. Palestinians have gathered along the Gaza border fence for non-violent marches to demand an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza and the right for Palestinians to return to their homes lost since Israel's creation in 1948.
At times balloons with incendiary and explosive devices have been launched across the border fence, which have caused minor damage to Israeli crops.