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Palestinian teen shot by Israel troops in Gaza dies of wounds

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinian demonstrators run to take cover from tear gas as they protest on the Israel-Gaza border, east of the northern town of Jabalia, April 27, 2018, on the fifth straight Friday of mass anti-occupation protests. (Photo by AFP)

A Palestinian teenager has succumbed to injuries he sustained during the Israeli military’s crackdown against mass anti-occupation protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Azzam Aweida, 15, died on Saturday having been shot the previous day by Israeli troops during protests along the border between the Gaza Strip and occupied territories, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the Palestinian teenager was hit in the head during protests in southern Gaza on Friday.

Hundreds of people gathered at Aweida’s home in the southern town of Khan Younis to attend his funeral.

Mourners carried his body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, to a nearby mosque for prayers before burial.

“My son is a martyr and I am very proud of him,” said his father, Helal Aweida.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Aweida was the fourth person to have died during a fifth consecutive Friday of protests.

The Palestinians say Israel is using excessive force against the protesters. The regime's use of live fire has drawn international criticism.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on Friday called the loss of life deplorable and said a “staggering number” of injuries had been caused by live ammunition.

Aweida’s death followed a similar incident last week, when a 15-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces.

Videos circulated on social media appeared to show the teen, identified as Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub, having been shot in the head.

Ayoub’s death drew sharp criticism from the United Nations envoy to the region, who denounced Israel’s response to the Gaza protests as “outrageous” and called on the Tel Aviv regime to stop shooting children.

“It is outrageous to shoot at children!” tweeted UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov.

Protests along the Gaza border since March 30 have led to clashes with Israeli forces in which some 46 Palestinians have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries.

The Palestinian rally will last until May 15, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) on which Israel was created. 

Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite UN resolutions and international law that uphold people’s right to return to their homelands.

Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and parts of Syria’s Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967, but the Tel Aviv regime has defied that piece of international law ever since.

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