Israeli gunfire kills Gaza teen during border protests

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Gaza Strip Feb 23, 2019, 09.07 AM (IST)

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager who was among thousands of people who thronged to the Gaza Strip border on Friday as part of weekly protests, Gaza health officials said.

Israel's military said it was acting against rioters, some of whom tried throwing grenades and explosive devices into Israel from the Gaza Strip, a territory controlled by the Islamist group Hamas.

Groups of Palestinian youth rolled burning tires and hurled stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the fortified fence in five areas along the Gaza-Israel border, according to witnesses.

Gaza's health ministry said a 15-year-old was killed after being shot. It said 40 other people were wounded by Israeli live fire.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said soldiers had used "riot dispersal means" and opened fire "in accordance with standard operating procedures."

Gaza's health ministry says more than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops in the protests, in which the crowds demand an end to a grinding Israeli-led blockade of the enclave that is home to two million people. During that time an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.