Beirut. Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians and injured more than 200 others as people of Gaza start their mass protests marking the anniversary of the Great March of Return and the Palestinian Land Day.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said that 17-year-old Adham Amara was killed on Saturday after being shot by Israeli fire in east Gaza City. The ministry said that the teenager had been wounded in the face. Earlier on Saturday, Gaza health officials said Israeli troops had shot and killed a Palestinian man.
Mohammed Saad, 20, died after being hit in the head by shrapnel. Protesters at the site said he had been taking part in an overnight rally ahead of the massive demonstrations scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Details about the third fatality are not available yet.
Israeli forces have also fired tear gases at protesters, who are marking the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests.
The rallies have been held every week since March 30 last year. Palestinians want an end to the Israeli occupation of their lands. They also demand the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
On the eve of the protests, Israeli soldiers and tanks were deployed near the fence separating the occupied territories from the besieged Gaza Strip.
The reinforcements were deployed on Friday morning. Gaza medical officials said later in the day that Israeli troops shot and wounded 10 Palestinians on the Gaza fence on the day.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened on Thursday that Tel Aviv would wage a broad military campaign on Gaza if needed, after a two-day flare-up of fighting that left several people injured on both sides.
Israeli troops have killed nearly 260 Palestinians since the beginning of the “Great March of Return” protests, and wounded 26,000 others, according to the Gaza health ministry.
A United Nations fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.