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22-year-old Palestinian dies in Gaza after clashes with Israeli forces

A young Palestinian man has succumbed to wounds he sustained in clashes with Israeli troops during an anti-occupation protest in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago.

Bassam Sami Safi, 22, who was critically injured east of Khan Younis in the southern parts of the blockaded Palestinian territory, “died this morning,” said Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, on Monday.

He said the young protester had been hit in the head with a tear gas canister on February 22.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Tensions have been running high near the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories ever since anti-occupation protest rallies, known as the Great March of Return, began in the Gaza Strip on March 30 last year. More than 260 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. Over 26,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, 2018, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided last year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Israeli military also regularly conducts airstrikes across the territory against alleged targets belonging to Palestinian resistance movements.

Later on Monday, Hundreds of Palestinians marched in Sami Safi’s funeral procession carrying his body from the Nasser Hospital to his family home before final prayers and burial at the city’s cemetery.

According to Maan news agency, Mourners called for an end to the killing of Palestinians at the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.


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