Two Palestinian protesters killed near Israel-Gaza border

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13-year-old Zakariya Hussein Beshbash succumbed to his wounds on Monday, after being shot in the abdomen while participating in the Friday protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp.

The Dawn News / June 20, 2018

A man was killed and several others injured at the Gaza-Israel border when a group of Palestinians approached the border fence constructed by Israel, leading to an explosion, in addition to drawing gunfire from Israeli soldiers.

Twenty-four-year-old Sabri Abu Khader died an hour after reaching the hospital, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, 13-year-old Zakariya Hussein Beshbash succumbed to his wounds on Monday, after being shot in the abdomen while participating in the Friday protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp.

These two deaths come against the backdrop of at least 130 Palestinian fatalitiesand injuries to nearly 15,000 protesters since the Great March of Return protests began on the Gaza-Israel border on March 30.

Also, on Monday, Israeli air force fighter jets carried out airstrikesin Gaza at nine different targets from where, it claimed, Palestinians were launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israel.

There have been no news reports yet of any injuries or deaths because of the airstrikes. Some Israeli politicians have issued calls for those Palestinians who are launching these kites to be targeted directly. Israel has also cut down the amount of helium gas supplies that it allows into Gaza, and now permits it only for medical purposes. Israel has also threatened to cut off Gaza’s helium gas supply altogether if the kite and balloon attacks don’t stop.

Since the March of Great Return demonstrations, Palestinians have been sending kites and balloons to which oil-drenched rags are attached into Israel. The resultant fires have caused some damage to farmland, but have not led to any loss of life.

Israel has tried to recruit civilians who own drones to deploy their devices to intercept the kites, but the tactic does not seem to have worked as many of the drones have been brought down.

Gaza has been suffering from a blockade by Israel and Egypt for the last 12 years, which has made life miserable for its approximately 2 million residents. The United Nations General Assembly last week adopted a resolution calling for protection of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and condemning Israel’s use of excessive military force against unarmed protesters. The UN has repeatedly warned that Gaza will become unlivable by 2020 if the siege by Israel and Egypt is not lifted.

 

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