Israeli forces shoot and wound hundreds of Palestinian protesters as they mark another “Day of Rage”.
A Palestinian teenager has been shot dead by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank, while another Palestinian man died from wounds sustained by an Israeli bullet a week earlier during clashes in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The 16-year-old Mohammed Zakarna was fatally shot on Saturday while allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard at the Jalameh checkpoint in the Jenin area of the West Bank.
The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the death of Zakarna, while an Israeli military spokesperson said on Twitter that that “security personnel responded” and shot the suspect “on site”.
Later on Saturday, Khalil Abu Abeed, 25, died as a result of being shot during clashes with Israeli troops in the Khan Younis area of the Gaza border last week, according to Ashraf Qidra, spokesman for the Ministry fo Health in the Strip.
Since October 1, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 56 Palestinians, including unarmed protesters, bystanders and alleged attackers.
Eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in stabbing or shooting incidents.
“This struggle is for the liberation of all Palestine,” Hamas leader Fathi Hamad told Al Jazeera. “We will free our homeland by any means necessary – all of it, the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the land occupied in 1948.”
Protests against Israel’s ongoing occupation broke out last month amid growing unrest triggered by Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – the third holiest site for Muslims – and have taken place across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and in Palestinian communities in Israel.
Saturday’s deaths come a day after Israeli troops injured at least 92 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets during “Day of Rage” protests called by Palestinian political factions.
Zakarna became the 12th Palestinian child to be killed by Israeli forces this month, prompting rights groups to decry Israel’s “excessive force” against children.
According to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health, at least 1,900 Palestinians – including 391 children – have been injured by live ammunition or rubber-coated bullets in October.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer for Defence for Children International (DCI) – Palestine, said that “lethal force only be used when absolutely unavoidable to protect life, and only when lesser means would be insufficient to apprehend a criminal suspect”.
“Israeli authorities have made it exceedingly difficult to determine whether the use of lethal force is justified in a particular incident because they fail to conduct comprehensive, transparent investigations and do not return bodies of alleged attackers to their families,” Parker said.
Khalil Abu Abeed is the seventeenth Palestinian in Gaza to be killed by Israeli forces in October. On Friday, 20-year-old Yehya Kareera also succumbed to wounds sustained by Israeli gunfire a week early during protests on the Gaza border.
Much of the besieged coastal enclave still lays in ruins and many of its residents remain displaced more than a year after Israel’s 51-day war last summer.
Unable to move outside of the blockaded coastal enclave, Palestinians in Gaza have protested on the border with Israel for the last three weeks.
“Ongoing protests in the Gaza Strip are an important reminder to the world and to Israel that despite the latter’s isolation of the territory, it is an integral part of Palestine and its people,” Sharif Nashashibi, a London-based analyst of Arab political affairs, told Al Jazeera.
Explaining that “more than 40 percent of [Palestinians] in the occupied territories” live in Gaza, Nashashibi said Israeli measures have “effectively cut off its residents from being part of any national liberation movement on the ground”.
“The blockade is part of Israel’s divide-and-rule strategy, which is itself being strengthened by Palestinian political divisions, and by the international community’s inaction.”
Follow Patrick Strickland on Twitter: @P_Strickland_