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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian at Gaza border: Army

AFP , Sunday 9 Sep 2018
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The Israeli occupation army said Sunday that it shot and fatally wounded a Palestinian man who sought to damage the fence on the flashpoint Israel-Gaza border.

"Troops recognised a suspect who approached the security fence and attempted to sabotage it," an English-language army statement said, adding that they opened fire at the man.

He was given medical treatment but "later on, the suspect succumbed to his wounds," it added.

Palestinian security officials said that the dead man was Atef Mohammed Saleh, 32, from Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel.

They said they did not know the circumstances of the shooting.

There have been regular protests along the border since March 30 as Palestinians demand the right to return to homes their families fled or were expelled from during the war surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

At least 176 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza since then.

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.

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.

The Gaza Strip faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, caused by over 10 years of Israeli blockade, alongside an internal Palestinian divide, which worsened in 2017, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

This week, Israel closed its only people crossing with Gaza after violent protests damaged the infrastructure.

Israel said it would reopen the passage next Thursday providing the situation is calm.

*This story has been edited by Ahram Online.

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