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On Sunday 28 October, three boys aged 13 and 14 were killed by an Israeli air strike near the perimeter fence.

The children were killed for allegedly attempting to sabotage the border fence and being involved in placing a home-made explosive device next to the fence.

Ashraf al-Qedra, Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, said that Mohamed Abu Obada, 27 years old, was shot dead in the anti-Israel weekly protests in northwestern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.

The Israeli army said in a statement that a military aircraft had fired at a person, who was spotted "flying burning balloons from the southern Gaza Strip towards Israel", without giving further details.

The incident occurred after months of protests and clashes along the Gaza border. It said paramedics who retrieved the bodies on the Gazan side of the fence "confirmed that the children did not have anything [weapons]".

Ibrahim al-Satari, the father of 13-year-old Mohammed, said he couldn't understand it.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch director in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said the killing of the boys appeared to be a violation of human rights law. "These are small children", he said.

It added that "the world needs to understand that the Palestinian people will never trade their legitimate right for scraps of humanitarian aid and partial solutions, but are struggling to legitimate rights, not only to end the deadly siege on Gaza, but also for independence and liberation to live in dignity and liberty".

At least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since months of protests began in late March.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and the recent unrest has sparked fears of a fourth. On the harder question [of whether] Hamas [should] "stop calling for Israel's destruction, and instead accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders", one poll shows Gazans say yes by a margin of 53 to 45 percent; the other poll yields a slightly narrower margin of 48 to 44 percent.