From the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, June 1:
Israeli army fire kills two children in northern Gaza
GAZA — Israeli soldiers stationed in northern Gaza Strip shot dead on Friday afternoon two Palestinian children, paramedics and eyewitnesses said.
The witnesses said that Israeli soldiers opened fire at two Palestinian children, 10 and 8 years old, who were playing on the beach near the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia.
After the two children were shot in the chest and the abdomen, they called for an ambulance to come to the area before their deaths, added the witnesses.
Local paramedics said that the bodies of the two children were evacuated from the area by a Palestinian ambulance and were taken to the nearby Kamal Odwan hospital.
The Israeli army forces are stationed in the Palestinian-controlled area north of the town in northern Gaza Strip in a bid to prevent Palestinian militant groups from launching homemade rockets at Israel.
The children were reportedly in the vicinity of the destoyed Israeli settlement of Dugit, looking for scrap metal, according to the Israeli paper Ynet on June 1:
The Palestinians claimed that the children were looking for aluminum and iron to sell in the market. Since the evacuation of settlements in Gaza, many Palestinians have been looking for building materials in the area and selling them in order to buy food.
The soldiers assumed that the two Palestinians were attempting to plant an explosive device in the area and fired at them.
Palestinians organizations said that no cell was operating in the area and that the IDF was claiming that gunmen approached the fence in order to justify shots fired for no real reason.
The Israeli army discounts the Palestinian version:
IDF officials noted, however, that terror organizations and Palestinian groups had distributed false information in the past few weeks claiming the IDF fired and hurt civilians.
If that’s so, it’s not on the IDF’s website. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reports that Israeli fire killed 19 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, and wounded 67, mostly civilians, in the Occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank from May 24-30.
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