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Palestinian protester killed by Israeli gun fire in West Bank

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:45 p.m.

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces shot and killed a teenage Palestinian protester during a clash in the West Bank late Wednesday, raising tensions heightened by the death of a Palestinian prisoner and renewed fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.

The late-night killing capped a day of rioting throughout the West Bank in protest over the prisoner's death from cancer and raised the likelihood of further unrest in the Palestinian territories on Thursday.

Mohammed Ayyad, a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent, said a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed in a clash between the Israeli army and Palestinian stone-throwers at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

He was hit by a bullet to the chest, Ayyad said.

The spokesman did not provide the youth's name.

The Israeli military said several Palestinians hurled firebombs at a military post near Tulkarem, and soldiers at the post fired a live round at the protesters, hitting one.

The army said it was reviewing the circumstances of the incident.

Earlier, Palestinian militants fired several rockets into southern Israel, and Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Gaza Strip in the heaviest exchange of fire between the sides since a cease-fire ended a major flare-up last year.

There were no casualties, but the violence nonetheless threatened to shatter the calm that has prevailed for more than four months. Israel's new defense minister issued a stern warning.

“We will not allow shooting of any sort (even sporadic) toward our citizens and our forces,” Moshe Yaalon, a former military chief of staff, said in a statement.

By nightfall, calm appeared to have returned on that front.

A small al-Qaida-influenced group was suspected.

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