Palestinians say video shows Gaza youth being shot in head
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Palestinians say video shows Gaza youth being shot in head

Tahrir Abu-Sabla reportedly in critical condition after being hit while trying to light a tire along border; IDF has accused Hamas of fabricating videos

A Palestinian man swings a slingshot during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 1, 2018. (AFP/ SAID KHATIB)
A Palestinian man swings a slingshot during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 1, 2018. (AFP/ SAID KHATIB)

A video clip uploaded by Palestinians to social media appeared to show a Palestinian youth being shot in the head, allegedly by IDF soldiers, on Sunday along the Gaza border.

The youth, identified by Palestinians as Tahrir Abu-Sabla, is in critical condition, according to the Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

The clip shows several youths trying to throw tires at an Israeli military position some distance away. According to the Palestinians, it was filmed east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Abu-Sabla, dressed in a white T-shirt and wearing a surgical mask, can be seen placing a tire on other burning tires so that it too would catch fire, then turning around and, with his back to the border fence, throwing his arms up in a gesture of celebration.

Abu-Sabla then drops down to the ground and, as others rush toward him and pick him up to take him to an ambulance, blood can be seen gushing out of his head.

The IDF, which did not respond immediately to the clip, has accused Hamas of fabricating video footage of events at the Gaza border since Friday.

Palestinian reports said that Abu-Sabla, a resident of Khan Younis, insisted on taking part in the demonstrations that began along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday despite being deaf.

During those clashes, up to 18 Palestinians were killed.

The Abu-Sabla video follows an earlier one, uploaded to social media on Saturday, which showed a Palestinian youth taking a shot in the back and falling to the ground as he runs away from the border east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

That youth, identified as Abdel Fattah Abdel Nabi, 18, was reportedly killed.

After Saturday’s clip began to circulate, the Israel Defense Forces charged that the terror group Hamas, which controls the Strip, was distributing video clips that had been fabricated or edited in a misleading manner.

On Friday, some 30,000 Palestinians took part in demonstrations along the Gaza border, during which rioters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops on the other side of the fence, burned tires and scrap wood, sought to breach and damage the security fence, and in one case opened fire at Israeli soldiers.

It was the largest such demonstration in recent memory, calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land from which their ancestors were displaced in the 1948 War of Independence. It was dubbed the “March of Return.”

The army, which had announced live fire orders before the protest began, said that its sharpshooters targeted only those taking explicit violent action against Israeli troops either by attacking IDF soldiers with stones and Molotov cocktails, actively trying to damage the security fence, or attempting to place improvised explosive devices along the security fence, which could later be used in attacks against Israeli patrols.

There were discrepancies in Palestinian reports on the Gaza death toll. While Hamas claimed Monday that 18 had died, the official news agency of the Palestinian Authority had the number at 16. Israel has no official death toll.

On Saturday, Hamas publicly acknowledged that five members of its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, were among the fatalities. Also on Saturday, the IDF identified 10 of the 15 people reported killed on Friday as members of Palestinian terrorist groups, and published a list of their names and positions in the organizations.

Hamas has said mass marches will continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation. Palestinians mark that date as their “Nakba,” or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.

Hamas is an Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel. It seized control of Gaza from Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group in 2007.

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