Israeli Soldiers Shoot and Kill 2 Palestinian Teenagers at Gaza Fence

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Hundreds of mourners marched through the streets of central Gaza Strip on Saturday carrying the body of 14-year-old Hassan Shalabi who was killed on Friday by Israeli troops in protests along the perimeter fence.

Israel says it has no choice but to use deadly force at the protests to defend the frontier from militants trying to destroy the barrier and infiltrate.

The Health Ministry said the soldiers killed a child, identified as Hasan Eyad Shalabi, 14, from the Nusseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, after shooting him with live fire in the chest, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

"They are hurling rocks at (Israeli) troops and towards the security fence, as well as a number of explosive devices that did not cross the fence", a spokesman said. At that moment, the boy was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired directly at protesters by Israeli forces.

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He noted that dozens were injured in eastern Gaza, including 17 shot by live Israeli soldiers' gunshots, adding that they were referred to hospitals all over Gaza while the others were treated by paramedics in the field.

Gazans are protesting for Palestinians' right to return to their former lands in what is now Israel as well as the end to a crushing Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the enclave. At least 295 Palestinians were killed and about 6,000 wounded during the 46 weeks of clashes.

The violence sometimes escalated into brief rounds of cross-border exchanges of rockets and airstrikes but protests have dwindled in recent months after an informal agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has fought three wars against Hamas since the miltant group took control of the enclave in 2007.