Palestinian girl, 13, is killed by Israeli Army fire in Gaza

By News Agencies and Haaretz Service

Haaretz,

July 27, 2004

A 13-year-old Palestinian girl was reportedly killed on Monday as she played soccer near her home in southern Gaza, Palestinians claimed.

The Israel Defense Forces told Army Radio in response to report that the army had fired toward the city of Khan Yunis to deter a possible infiltration attempt on the settlement of Netzer Hazani. The IDF is investigating whether the girl was killed as a result of Israeli gunfire.

The soldiers had been firing to deter mortar attacks by Palestinian militants.

Medics said teenager Sara Mahmoud Zorob was shot in the chest in an outlying neighborhood of the city of Khan Younis and died on the way to the hospital.

"She was outside playing with the other kids and then the shooting started. She was playing soccer," a cousin told
Reuters. "After she got shot, the other kids started screaming. What did she do, a kid like this? She was just playing."

Neighborhood witnesses said a boy of 12 who was playing nearby and a 56-year-old man were also shot and wounded. Both were in moderate condition after being hit in the leg.

Monday's incident came a day after militants fired a missile into the heart of the main Gush Katif settlement bloc, hitting a community center and wounding six people including children.

Also Monday, IDF troops opened fire at a Palestinian man who attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail at them as they patrolled near Nablus in the West Bank, Army Radio reported. The man was wounded and evacuated to hospital by other Palestinians.