UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian during protests on the fortified border between Gaza and Israel on Friday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The ministry identified the dead man as 20-year-old Saher Othman, adding that another 52 people were wounded, 27 of them with live bullets, during the often violent demonstrations.
An Israeli army spokeswoman told Reuters troops stationed along the border did not use live bullets. Some 7,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstrations, it said. She said they threw Molotov cocktails and explosives at the soldiers.
“IDF forces responded by dispersing the riots,” the spokeswoman said.
The weekly protests began 18 months ago under the slogan “The Great March of Return” to call for an end to the security blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the Gaza Strip and to demand the right of Palestinians to return to the land of their ancestors who fled or were forced to flee during the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Israel rejects this and says it will destroy its Jewish majority.
Officials from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have worked in recent months to keep calm on the border.
Gaza health officials say around 210 Palestinians have been killed since protests began in March 2018.
Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper at the border and another was killed during an undercover Israeli incursion into the Strip.
Israel captured the Gaza Strip in 1967 and withdrew its troops and settlers from there in 2005.
It says the security blockade is essential to stop weapons reaching Hamas, which has fought three wars and fired thousands of rockets over the past decade.
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