A Palestinian protester who was struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier at close range died of his wounds on Saturday, activists said, accusing the army of using disproportionate force.

The 28-year-old, Mustafa Tamimi, was hurling rocks at the military vehicle on Friday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh when a soldier inside opened the rear door and fired at him from just a few yards away, said witnesses.

The army's use of the gas canisters has come under sharp criticism in the past few years. Military officials say they are using the gas to quell violent demonstrations. But some Israeli troops have fired them directly at demonstrators, causing severe injuries and death.

Tensions also simmered along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, where mourners buried a 12-year-old killed in an Israeli airstrike on Friday. Militants there fired two rockets at Israel.

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