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Israeli tank fire kills Palestinian teen near Gaza fence

Israeli soldiers drag away a wounded Palestinian east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on June 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

A Palestinian teenager has been killed after being hit by Israeli tank fire at a fence along the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories, Gaza's Health Ministry says.

According to the ministry, Abdel Fattah Abu Azoum, 17, was hit in the head earlier on Thursday near Rafah in the southern part of the Palestinian enclave.

The Tel Aviv regime's army has confirmed the killing, claiming that he and a companion were seeking to breach the fence.

Palestinian medics said the other escaped with minor injuries.

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

On May 14, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians who had gathered near the Gaza fence for the climax of a six-week demonstration coinciding with the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds. Over 60 Palestinians were shot dead and over 2,700 wounded by Israeli snipers who had been positioned along the fence.

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

At least 135 Palestinians, including 14 children, have been killed by Israeli forces during the Return rallies at the fence separating Gaza from the Israeli-occupied territories. Over 15,000 Palestinians also sustained injuries.

The death toll has drawn international criticism, but the United States which has angered Muslims with its embassy move, has supported Israel. 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said children in the besieged Gaza Strip are the main victims of the Israeli atrocities, where some 1.8 million people are living under a crippling blockade.    

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

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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