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Israeli troops kill 14-year-old boy in hunt for missing teens

HEBRON, Palestinian Territories--Israeli soldiers killed a 14-year-old Palestinian in the occupied West Bank on Friday as they pressed a crackdown on the Islamist movement Hamas in their search for three missing teenagers.

Troops also wounded two Palestinians in a refugee camp just outside Jerusalem, medical sources said, as clashes flared during the massive military operation in which forces have detained 330 Palestinians over the past week.

Israel accuses Hamas of kidnapping two 16-year-olds and a 19-year-old who went missing at a hitch-hiking stop in the West Bank, an allegation the Islamist group has dismissed.

But Israel seized on the opportunity to drive a wedge between Hamas and the Palestinian leadership, who formed a merged administration for the West Bank and Gaza Strip just this month for the first time in seven years.

Palestinian security and medical sources said 14-year-old Mohammed Dudin was shot in the chest in a clash that erupted after Israeli soldiers arrived to conduct arrests in the village of Dura, south of the West Bank city of Hebron.

Dudin was taken to the Alia hospital in Hebron, where he was later pronounced dead.

The army said villagers had thrown stones and Molotov cocktails at troops on an arrest mission in Dura, and that soldiers had responded with live fire.

A spokeswoman told AFP the army was examining the reports of Dudin's death.

In Qalandia refugee camp just north of Jerusalem, troops shot and wounded two young Palestinians, medics said.

Mustafa Aslan, 20, was in critical condition at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem while Mohammed Shehada, 21, was being treated in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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 Refugee numbers highest since WWII: UN 
A Palestinian youth runs as he takes part in military-inspired exercises during a summer camp organized by the Islamist movement Hamas on Thursday, June 19.

(AFP

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