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Saturday, 19 September 2020

Palestinian teen in Gaza dies of wounds from Israeli gunfire: Ministry

AFP, Saturday 28 Jul 2018
Palestinian mourners carry the body of 11-year-old Majdi al-Sutari during his funeral in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 28, 2018 (Photo: AFP)
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A Gaza teenager died of his wounds on Saturday after being shot by Israeli occupation troops during protests along the border, the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory said.

A ministry statement identified him as Mohmen al-Hams, 17, and said he was shot in the chest during protests near the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Friday.

There have been persistent clashes between the Israeli occupation army and Palestinian protesters along the Gaza-Israel border since late March in which at least 157 Palestinians have been killed.

Occupation troops shot dead two Palestinians during Friday's protests.

The Gaza health ministry said that one of them was a 12-year-old boy, shot east of Rafah.

It also reported the killing of Ghazi Abu Mustafa 43, and said he was shot in head by Israeli soldiers east of the southern city of Khan Yunis.

The Israeli occupying military did not comment directly on the deaths but said about 7,000 Palestinian "rioters" threw rocks and rolled burning tyres at soldiers, and at the fence itself, at several locations along the border.

"Troops are responding with riot dispersal means and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement," an English-language statement said Friday evening, without elaborating.

Hamas has pledged revenge after Israeli air and artillery strikes on the coastal enclave killed a number of its members in recent weeks.

Israel launched three wars on Gaza since 2008.

A week ago a Palestinian gunman shot and killed an Israeli soldier at the border, sparking a fierce wave of Israeli bombing that ratcheted up fears of a new conflict.

A degree of calm was restored until Wednesday when Israel said its occupying troops came under fire again, with one soldier wounded.

It hit back with artillery fire which killed three Palestinians at a Hamas military base, east of Gaza City.

In response, the Hamas military wing warned that "the enemy shall pay a high price in blood for the crime which it commits daily against the rights of our people and our fighters".

Palestinians in Gaza have for months been demonstrating against Israel's decade-long blockade of the territory and in support of their right to return to lands they fled or were driven from during the war surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

In the wake of the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations, which started on 30 March, Gaza’s already overstretched health sector has been struggling to cope with the mass influx of casualties.

At least 158 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli occupation forces during the recent protests near the border with Israel.

Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza which it argues is necessary to isolate Hamas.

The blockade is worsening humanitarian conditions in Gaza, which human rights advocates have described as collective punishment of the Palestinians living in the strip.

*This story has been edited by Ahram Online.

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