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Israeli forces shoot dead 3 Palestinians at Gaza border fence

Israeli soldiers take position along the border with the besieged Gaza Strip on May 4, 2018, during clashes with Palestinian protesters on the sixth straight Friday of mass demonstrations calling for the right of Palestinians to return to their historic homeland. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli troops have fatally shot three Palestinians during clashes at the border fence along the besieged Gaza Strip amid the Tel Aviv regime's bloody crackdown on an anti-occupation protest in the Palestinian enclave.

According to a statement issued by the Israeli military, the deadly incident occurred in the eastern part of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip earlier on Sunday, when the regime soldiers opened fire on four Palestinian demonstrators.

The statement alleged that the young Palestinian men were shot dead because they were purportedly trying to “cross the security barrier from the southern Strip toward” the Israeli-occupied side.

Meanwhile, the Gaza Health Ministry, in a statement, confirmed the deadly shootings, identifying two of the victims as Abdel Rahman Qudeih, 23, and Mohammed Abu Rayda, 20.

Sunday’s killings raised to 52 the death toll of unarmed Palestinian protesters who have lost their lives by Israeli forces’ live fire since protests began along the Gaza border on March 30. The Israeli regime has faced international criticism over its use of live fire.

The Palestinian rallies, known as the “Great March of Return,” will last until May 15, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when Israel was created. Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate the day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli warplane launched an airstrike against a border observation post, run by the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, in Beit Lahia city, causing damage to the site and fear among residents, particularly children.

According to a statement by Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, no casualties were inflicted in the aerial aggression.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a statement released on Friday, warned that the Israeli violence against the inhabitants of the blockaded sliver had particularly “exacerbated the suffering of children whose lives have already been unbearably difficult for several years.”

Gaza has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty there.

In addition, the Israeli regime has imposed increasing power cuts and shortages in fuel in the sliver, hugely disrupting water and sanitation services. Medicines and health equipment are also in dire short supply, straining an already fragile health system.

Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014 and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100 others.

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