17-year-old Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers

Ramallah, July 3 (IANS) A 17-year-old Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli soldiers stationed at an army roadblock located between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem on Friday morning, medics said.

Medics in Ramallah said Mohamed Hani al-Kasbeh was killed by Israeli soldiers stationed at Qalandia military checkpoint, Xinhua news agency reported.

Eyewitnesses said al-Kasbeh was shot as he was trying to climb the separation wall at the al-Ram area between Ramallah and Jerusalem to join the Friday noon prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque in the old city of Jerusalem.

The soldiers, who saw the young man climbing the wall, opened fire at him at 7.30 a.m., eyewitnesses said. He fell down on the ground and continued to bleed until a group of young men managed to take him to a nearby hospital by car.

Medics at Palestine Medical Centre in Ramallah said al-Kasbeh was in critical condition when he arrived, and that doctors failed to rescue him.

Al-Kasbeh had two brothers, Yasser and Samer, both of whom were killed in 2002 during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem.

Those who were intending to head to Jerusalem during the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to pray said it was quiet and there were no clashes with the Israeli soldiers when al-Kasbeh was shot and killed.

Palestinian rights groups said the Israeli army has killed 22 Palestinians and detained 2,456 others in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of this year.

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