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Two Palestinians killed in Israeli air attack in Gaza

The two Palestinians in Gaza were accused by Israel of planting a 'suspicious device' on the fence.

Two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air attack near the fence between Gaza and Israel in the southern Gaza Strip, the health ministry said.

The two men, who were later identified as Naji Abuasi, 18, and Alaa Abuasi, 21, were taken to the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis after their bodies were discovered on Monday night by Red Crescent medics.

In a statement, the Israeli army said they targeted a group of "terrorists" who were seen near the fence acting in a "suspicious" way.

"An [Israeli] aircraft attacked terrorists who approached the fence in the southern Gaza Strip in a suspicious manner and planted a suspicious object along it," the Israeli military said.

According to the health ministry, at least 26 Palestinians were shot during protests on Monday.

Palestinians have been protesting along the fence east of the Gaza Strip on a weekly basis since March, calling for their right of return and an end to the 11-year Israeli blockade. At least 170 Palestinians have been killed in the protests since, with 18,000 others wounded, according to the health ministry.

In the occupied West Bank, Palestinian Mohammed al-Rimawi, 24, died early on Tuesday morning after he was arrested during a raid by Israeli soldiers, with his family accusing the soldiers of beating him.

Rimawi's brother told the AFP news agency that the army had raided the house in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"They entered Mohammed's room while he was sleeping and they beat him violently and we heard screaming," he told AFP.

"After a while, he went silent and a soldier carried him out on his back."

A short time after the arrest, the Israeli army informed the Palestinian security coordination office of his death, who relayed the news to the Rimawi family.

The Israeli military confirmed Rimawi's death in custody but said he had not resisted arrest.

"The army apprehended a Palestinian suspected of hostile activities in Beit Rima during the night," an army spokeswoman told AFP, referring to a village north of Ramallah.

"He was arrested without violence or resistance from his part. He lost consciousness and was treated by Israeli soldiers at the scene."

He died later in hospital, she added.

The Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer said in a statement that it held Israel responsible for the death in custody and called on the UN to investigate.

"This case represents a continuation of the occupation's policy of utilizing excessive force in the arrest of Palestinians," it said. "Additionally, this excessive force, in the case of killing, amounts to the unlawful killing of a civilian population."

"Mohammad's death is a direct result of such excessive use of force against civilians, in contravention to international human rights and humanitarian law."

In a statement, the Rimawi family called for international witnesses to attend the post-mortem if the Israeli authorities were to carry one out.

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