Palestinian teenager Hasan al-Zaanin was killed on Friday morning in the besieged northern Gaza town of Bait Hanun.

Security sources said he was shot dead by Israeli occupation troops that indiscriminately opened fire at Palestinian resistance fighters who were allegedly planting a roadside bomb.

Some witnesses said al-Zaanin was killed when he tried to stop the fighters from planting the bomb. However, there are no independent reports to confirm this.

Occupation forces stormed Bait Hanun late last month and have wreaked havoc in the densely civilian population town since then. Palestinian security sources and the Israeli army say land levelling had been stepped up in the past few days.

Israel justifies its siege on Bait Hanun as part of efforts to halt resistance fighters from allegedly using the town as a launch pad for firing rockets. 

Missile attack

Late on Thursday, an Israeli helicopter missile strike in Gaza City killed two Palestinians activists and injured several others, including a child, witnesses told Aljazeera.net's correspondent.

Hazim Arhim, a local leader of the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, was among those killed in the attack.

The missiles ripped through a car in Gaza City's Zaitun quarter, tearing its passengers apart. Palestinian medical sources said the bodies "arrived in pieces". It was the third Israeli missile strike in Gaza city in as many days.

Arhim was on Israel's hit list for his involvement in resistance attacks.

More protests

The appointment of Musa Arafat
was strongly opposed

Also in Gaza City, several thousand demonstrators took to the streets to protest against Palestinian President Yasir Arafat's appointment of his cousin Musa as security chief in the Gaza Strip.

The angry crowd had rallied late on Thursday in response to a call from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Arafat's Fatah movement.

"Try the symbols of corruption before the people tries them," they chanted.

Violent protests erupted last weekend after Arafat appointed Musa as the new overall head of general security aftera breakdown in order and a string of kidnappings in Gaza.

Demonstrators led by the Brigades then denounced him as the epitome of corruption.

Reacting to the protests, Arafat announced on Monday that Musa would only head up the general security branch in the Gaza Strip, rather than the occupied West Bank and Gaza as initially indicated.