Press TV, July 2, 2009
A seventeen-year-old Palestinian girl has reportedly been killed and four others have suffered wounds in Israeli tank fire in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Palestinians who said they witnessed the incident, Hyam Ayash lost her life after an Israeli tank fired a mortar toward a target near the al-Bureij refugee camp at a central area in the impoverished strip. Medical workers meanwhile said that one of those wounded in the attack is in critical condition.
The Israeli military account of the incident was that its forces had come under fire by Palestinian fighters in the area.
The incident took place after the London-based human rights group Amnesty International announced on Thursday that Israeli army soldiers picked and used Gazan children as human shields during the latest major Israeli military operation in the besieged Gaza Strip.
In its 117-page report on the offensive, the rights group leveled accusations of war crimes against Tel Aviv, saying Israeli forces inflicted "wanton destruction" in attacks that targeted civilians.
Based on the report, Israeli troops forced Palestinians to stay in one room at their home while turning the rest of the house into a base and sniper positions, effectively using the families, both adults and children, as human shields and putting them at risk.
There have been intermittent skirmishes between Israeli troopers and Palestinian fighters in the Gaza-Israel border region after Israel brought its three-week war on Gaza to a halt.
Three weeks of Israeli air strikes and a ground incursion resulted in the death of over 1,500 Palestinians and the injury of about 5,450 people in the Gaza Strip. Most of the victims were civilians. The offensive also inflicted more than USD 1.6 billion of damage on the economy in the Gaza Strip.