GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 17-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces in northern Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip on Friday, amid reports that Israeli forces also shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman.Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said the 17-year-old boy had been shot in the head and had been moved for treatment.
An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the shooting. She said that a group of Palestinians had been seen “approaching the security fence” and that Israeli forces arrived shortly afterwards.She alleged that the Israeli soldiers called them to halt, and fired warning shots when they “refused to comply.”Israeli forces then fired at their “lower extremities” and hit the “main instigator” of the group, she said. Asked what he had been instigating, she said the group had been “attempting to breach the security fence.”
A Palestinian fisherman was also reported to have been shot by Israeli forces while fishing in the sea off Gaza.The army spokeswoman said that Israeli forces fired on his boat when it went beyond the designated fishing zone.She said that the naval forces “fired warning shots,” but opened fire when the “suspects continued to advance.” She said the vessel then returned to shore.The shooting of the 17-year-old comes less than a month after another teenage boy, 14-year-old Fadi Abu Mandil was critically injured by a stray Israeli bullet while studying in his home in the central Gaza Strip.Abu Mandil was moved to Ramallah on Tuesday last week to undergo surgery in his spine, as his family said the boy was unable to walk.Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Gazans since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the “security buffer zone.”