Gazan teen succumbs to wounds from IDF bullet, Hamas says
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Gazan teen succumbs to wounds from IDF bullet, Hamas says

Gaza Health Ministry says Israeli security forces shot Abdel Raouf Salha, 14, in the head last Friday

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Illustrative: A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli forces across the border fence, during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Gaza City on January 11, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Illustrative: A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli forces across the border fence, during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Gaza City on January 11, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

A Palestinian teen has succumbed to wounds he sustained last Friday during a protest in the border area between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Fourteen-year-old Abdel Raouf Salha was hit by a bullet in the head at a protest in the border area in northern Gaza, an official in the ministry, who asked to remain unnamed, told The Times of Israel.

She said the bullet was fired by Israeli security forces.

The Israel Defense Forces spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what happened to Salha last Friday.

The official in the Hamas-run Health Ministry said she was not certain how far Salha was from the border when he was shot.

A video shared on Facebook appeared to show Salha last Friday being carried into an ambulance by medics.

On Monday, Palestinians in Gaza participated in a funeral procession for the teen.

Since March 30, weekly Friday protests, which have included many violent acts, have taken place in the border region.

Their organizers have said the protests aim to achieve the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to lands that are now part of Israel, and pressure the Jewish state to lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave.

Israeli officials hold that the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants would destroy Israel’s Jewish character. They also maintain that the restrictions on movement are in place to prevent Hamas and other terrorist groups from smuggling weapons into the Strip. Hamas, which violently seized control of Gaza in 2007 from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, is an Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel.

Israeli security officials have repeatedly called on Palestinians in Gaza to stay away from the border fence between Israel and the coastal enclave.

“Those who approach the fence today are putting themselves in danger,” then-defense minister Avigdor Liberman wrote on Twitter on March 30.

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