Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – A Palestinian farmer was killed in Gaza by an Israeli strike early Friday, the health ministry in the enclave said, ahead of a day of major protests.
A spokesman for the ministry said one farmer was killed and another injured by Israeli artillery fire near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
The ministry identified the victim as 27-year-old Omar Samour. Local eyewitnesses said he was on his land near the border when the incident occurred.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Israeli army of the strike.
It comes just hours before the start of a major demonstration, which is set to kick off six weeks of protests leading up to the inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem around May 14.
Dubbed “The Great March of Return,” the protests, which include hundreds of people camping close to the sealed and heavily guarded Israeli-Gaza border, has the backing of Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
The protests have raised concerns in Israel about potential border breaches, with the army adding hundreds of reinforcements, including more than 100 special forces snipers, along the border in recent days.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.