Palestinian boy, 10, killed by Israelis at separation wall

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The Independent Online

A 10-year-old Palestinian boy has been killed by Israeli gunfire during a confrontation between troops and stone-throwing youths in a West Bank village, according to medics and witnesses.

The boy, Ahmed Moussa, was killed in Naalin, the site of frequent demonstrations against Israel's separation barrier, which threatens to swallow up hundreds of acres of Naalin's olive groves.

The boy was killed by a shot to the forehead, according to witnesses. The Israeli military said it would conduct an investigation.

Yesterday, Israeli forces erected a makeshift fence to prevent protesters from reaching bulldozers clearing land for the barrier and young men and boys gathered nearby, said Farah Khawaja, a protest organiser. Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators trying to scale the fence. By late afternoon, the clashes had subsided, but several teenage boys remained in the area and kept throwing stones, said Mr Khawaja.

He said soldiers fired more tear gas and then live bullets.

The boy was struck in the forehead, with a large exit wound in the back of the head. Mohammed Nafa, one of the demonstrators, said he and others carried the boy to an ambulance, cupping his head with a baseball cap. "We told him not to go down [to the protests], but he wouldn't listen," said the boy's aunt, Khadija Moussa.

The military said it would conduct "a thorough examination with the forces in the region".

Also yesterday, an Israeli battalion commander was placed on leave for his alleged role in the shooting of a bound, blindfolded Naalin protester on 7 July. The protester was lightly injured, suffering a bruised toe. The incident was captured in footage taken by a Naalin resident and was distributed by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. The footage shows an Israeli soldier slowly taking aim and firing at the feet of the protester, as an Israeli officer holds the bound man's arm.

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