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Palestinian boy killed during protest, witnesses say

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  • NEW: Israeli military says it is conducting "careful and thorough" examination
  • Israeli soldiers fire near demonstrators in West Bank, witnesses say
  • Demonstrators were protesting security barrier in the West Bank
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli soldiers Tuesday fired shots near a group of Palestinian youths during a demonstration in the West Bank, killing a 9-year-old boy, eyewitnesses told CNN.

The Israeli military released a statement saying it is "conducting a careful and thorough examination" into the reported incident, including a joint medical investigation with Palestinian medical personnel.

The military said the head of Israel's Central Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, "is following the investigation closely."

The incident happened during a demonstration against an Israeli security barrier near the village of Nil'in, which is near Ramallah.

There have been numerous demonstrations near the village in recent months against the security barrier that Palestinians say will result in the seizure of their land.

Israel says the security barrier is necessary to prevent terrorists from entering Israel and taking lives. But Palestinians say the barrier is an illegal land grab that also restricts them from traveling to work in Israel.

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