Gaza Palestinian dies of Israeli gunfire wounds: ministry

Palestinians demonstrate along Gaza's border with Israel as smoke rises from a field set on fire by a molotov cocktail delivered by kite from the coastal territory
AFP

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – A Palestinian wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip has died, the Hamas-controlled territory’s health ministry said on Monday.

Abdullah Shamali, 20, died overnight of “bullet wounds to his belly” sustained on Friday in Rafah, near the enclave’s border with Israel, a ministry spokesman said.

Shamali was one of five Palestinian demonstrators, including a 15-year-old, killed or fatally wounded in Gaza on Friday.

His death brings to 39 the toll from Israeli fire since the start of “March of Return” protests on March 30.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave, wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, have gathered at the border on consecutive Fridays to call for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel.

Some protestors have launched stones or burning tires at Israeli soldiers.

Israeli forces have responded with live ammunition, wounding hundreds in addition to those killed.

The Israeli army says its fores only open fire in self-defence or to stop protestors attempting to breach the barrier separating the territory from Israel.

More than 440 demonstrators suffered bullet wounds or gas inhalation on Friday, rescuers said.

Israel has drawn harsh criticism from rights groups along with calls for investigations by the United Nations or the European Union.

Israel has for more than a decade imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, fighting three wars with Islamist movement Hamas since 2008.

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