Israeli army says Palestinian killed at West Bank roadblock

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military on Friday confirmed shooting a Palestinian car passenger dead in the West Bank, while a second Palestinian teenager was killed in a weekly border demonstration in the Gaza Strip.

The army said it opened fire on the car after it broke through a West Bank checkpoint. The military said it was on high alert in the area after shots were fired from a Palestinian village late Thursday. It said soldiers fired warning shots in the air when the driver ignored orders to halt but car sped up instead. The army said it responded with live fire, killing one passenger.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the dead passenger as Qasim Abbasi, 17, from east Jerusalem.

His cousin, Mohammed Abbasi, told The Associated Press that he, Qasim, and a friend were driving out of the Palestinian city of Ramallah when an Israeli soldier told them the road was closed. Abbasi said when they tried to make a U-turn, a soldier fired at their car, shattering the rear window and striking Qasim in the back.

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Abbasi said he and his friend, who was driving, were not injured. He said they were released after being interrogated by police.

The West Bank saw a spike in violence last week after a pair of deadly shootings targeting Israeli soldiers and settlers. The army has arrested scores of Hamas activists as it ratchets up its manhunt for a Palestinian assailant.

Meanwhile in Gaza, health officials said that Israeli gunfire killed a 16-year-old Palestinian during a weekly protest in east Gaza City near the Israeli border.

Mohammed Jahjouh was shot in the neck, Gaza’s health ministry said, adding that 40 other protesters were wounded.

Since March, thousands of Palestinians have protested along the perimeter fence separating the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip from Israel. The demonstrations have been staged by the territory’s Hamas rulers against a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

More than 175 Palestinians either protesting or present at the rallies were killed, including 28 minors, according to the health ministry and a local rights group. An Israeli soldier was killed in July.

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Associated Press writers Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed from Ramallah, West Bank, and Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

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