GAZA CITY — Israeli troops shot and seriously wounded a 17-year-old Palestinian in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, medics said.
The youth, whose name was not immediately released, was hit in the head north of Beit Lahiya near the border with Israel, according to Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
An Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP that he was one of a group of Palestinians nearing the border fence, where Israel maintains a no-go zone.
“A group of Palestinians was identified approaching the security fence, in the northern Gaza Strip,” she said.
An army patrol sent to investigate, “called on the suspects to halt, firing warning shots in the air. When they refused to comply the force fired at a main instigator’s lower extremities and a hit was identified,” she said.
Israel’s 50-day war last summer against Hamas, the de facto power in Gaza, killed about 2,200 Palestinians according to Hamas, at least half of whom Israel says were combatants. On the Israeli side, 73 people, the majority soldiers, were killed. Hamas fired over 4,500 rockets at Israel, and carried out attacks through tunnels dug under the border. In recent weeks, Hamas is reported to have again been digging tunnels.