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Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank clashes: medics

A Palestinian uses a sling to hurl stones during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian during stone throwing clashes on Friday in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said.

The clashes followed a surge of violence on Thursday when a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers, and Israeli forces killed two Hamas fugitives whom it blamed for earlier deadly attacks. Israeli forces also killed two Palestinians that Israel said had tried to carry out attacks.

On Friday Palestinians gathered in protest in the West Bank, throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, witnesses said. One Palestinian, aged 18, was killed by Israeli fire, health officials said.

The Israeli army did not have any immediate comment.

In the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Hamas militant group, thousands of Palestinians also gathered along the border with Israel.

Gaza health officials said 75 people were wounded by Israeli live fire during the weekly border protests.

An Israeli military spokesman said Gazans hurled rocks at soldiers and the security fence. A fire bomb and several grenades were also thrown, the spokesman said, though none of them crossed into Israel.

“Troops responded with riot dispersal means and operated in accordance with standard operating procedures,” he said.

Gaza’s health ministry said more than 220 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli troops since March at border protests demanding an end to an Israeli-led blockade of the coastal strip.

Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Nidal Almughrabi; Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Richard Balmforth