Israeli soldiers kill 9-year-old boy
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By Ali Daraghmeh
Aug. 17, 2004 | Nablus, West Bank -- Israeli soldiers on Tuesday shot and
killed a 9-year-old Palestinian boy in Nablus as he sat on the front steps of
his home eating a sandwich, relatives said.
The troops were enforcing a curfew when they drove by 9-year-old Khaled Usta's
home, the boy's aunt, Ferial Usta said. Youths threw stones at the troops, but
the group fled when the soldiers got out of the jeep and pointed their guns at a
fence just behind the boys, she said.
Khaled was sitting just behind the fence eating a sandwich when one of the
soldiers fired his rifle, the aunt said.
"I saw the soldier fire and the boy fell, and immediately I went downstairs. All
the neighbors heard the gunshot and ... ran down also," she said.
A military official said soldiers fired at Palestinians throwing concrete
blocks, stones and a firebomb in three separate incidents, but was not aware
that anyone was killed. The army said it was operating in Nablus to hunt down
militants and find their weapons stashes.
Jarir Kanadilo, a Palestinian ambulance driver, said the boy was shot in the
Huloud Usta, Khaled's sister, said about 10 minutes after her brother was taken
to a hospital, the soldiers came over to see why neighbors had gathered outside.
She said she told them what happened and it appeared they were arguing among
In a separate incident in Nablus, soldiers shot and injured two Palestinians who
had thrown stones at military jeeps, witnesses and rescue officials said.
In house-to-house searches in Nablus' old city, the army discovered two homemade
rockets, as well as a booklet on how to prepare homemade rockets, the army said.
Palestinian militants have fired dozens of the homemade rockets from the Gaza
Strip into Israel, but have not yet been able to manufacture and launch them
from the West Bank. The Israeli army frequently operates in the West Bank to
prevent the production of rockets, which could easily reach major Israeli
population centers from the Palestinian territories.
In a Nablus refugee camp, troops on Tuesday found a weapons cache including two
guns, ammunition and equipment used to prepare explosives, the army said.