Palestinians shot dead in Gaza

Two Palestinians were killed on Friday night by Israeli soldiers near a crossing point in the eastern Gaza Strip, security and medical sources said.

    An Israeli military veichle patrols the area where the dead man lies

    One of the men has been named as Jihad Musa al-Akhras, 16, who military sources say was shot on Friday night after he approached the fence snaking along the Gaza Strip and Egyptian border.

    The identity of the other man and how he was killed is unknown.

    An AFP photographer on the scene captured al-Akhras's body lying on the ground as an Israeli military veichle patrols
    the area. Earlier in the day Akhras's relatives accused the army of not allowing the family access to retrieve the
    teenager's body. spoke to Ingrid Johnson, an American youth worker in Gaza who tried to assist the family in collecting
    al-Akhras's body.

    "I heard that a young man had been shot- so I went over to the crowd of people who had gathered near the border crossing in Rafah. I was asked by the man's family help, so I put on an orange vest to be visable to the soliders and tried to get close to his body."


    Ingrid (L) tries to  get  closer to
    the dead man as a tank moves in

    Johnson was accompanied by a Sweedish peace activist, but both were warned by the army not to get close to al-Akhras's body or they would be shot at.

    "I got close enough to see his body, which was in a very bad way. I was told by his family and others that he had been shot many, many times", said Johnson.


    The bodies of two men were recovered on Saturday by a Palestinian medical team, close to the Nahal-Oz crossing point
    between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The bodies were taken to the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

    An Israeli military source said soldiers at Nahal Oz had opened fire at two "suspicious individuals crawling close to the
    security fence" between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

    A brother of the victim was also killed by troops in Rafah under similar circumstances last year, the family added.

    The latest death brings to 3633 the number of people killed since Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in September 2000,
    including 2713 Palestinians and 854 Israelis.



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