Gaza: Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli forces during blockade protests

Five others wounded by Israeli fire, including a child who is in a critical condition, says local health ministry

A Palestinian man was shot dead on Thursday and at least 15 more wounded as Israeli force fired on hundreds of protesters demonstrating for the third week along the fence separating Gaza from Israel, the local health ministry said.

The 26-year-old man died of bullet injuries in the abdomen in the northern Jabaliya area.  Five others were wounded by Israeli fire, including a child who is in a critical condition, it said.

Others suffered choking from gas inhalation, said a correspondent for the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa, quoting witnesses.

He said several Israeli drones were seen launching tear gas canisters at the protesters.

Several factions in Gaza had called for demonstrations to protest against Israel’s almost 15-year-long blockade of the coastal enclave.

The Israeli military said that more than 1,000 Palestinians had gathered for the protests, with some setting tyres ablaze and hurling projectiles.

In the first deaths in Gaza since a fragile truce ended 11 days of deadly Israel-Hamas fighting in May, a Palestinian boy, an Israeli sniper and a Palestinian man succumbed to their injuries in recent days after being shot during protests in Gaza on 21 August.

Egypt and the United Nations have stepped up mediation efforts in recent weeks, helping facilitate Qatari aid to Gaza in a move that was widely seen as bolstering the May 21 truce.

Crippling blockade

Israel has maintained a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished enclave’s two million residents.

Egypt also upholds the siege, restricting movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

In 2018, residents of Gaza began a protest movement demanding an end to the blockade and the right for Palestinian refugees to return to lands they fled or were expelled from when Israel was founded.

The weekly demonstrations were eventually suspended after more than a year during which Israeli forces killed some 350 Palestinians in Gaza.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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