More than a dozen of Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces on the border fence between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied territories, where Palestinians gathered to demonstrate against the regime’s blockade of the coastal enclave.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 14 Palestinians were wounded during the Wednesday demonstration, five of them from live bullets, two from rubber-coated bullets and seven from tear gas inhalation.
Official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that at least one minor was hit by live ammunition during the demonstration, held east of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.
The Israeli military had deployed additional troops along the border ahead of the pre-organized protests, including two special forces units, a tank company and a number of snipers.
The protests came hours after Osama Khaled D’eij, a 32-year-old Palestinian from Jabalia in northern Gaza, succumbed to the wounds from Israeli gunfire.
D’eij was shot and seriously injured during protests that took place near the border fence on Saturday to condemn the Israeli blockade of Gaza and commemorate the 52nd anniversary of a 1969 arson attack on al-Aqsa Mosque.
During Saturday’s demonstrations, more than 40 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire, including a 13-year-old youth who was shot in the head, the Health Ministry said.
Tensions have spiked along the border fence in recent weeks over the Israeli regime’s hampering of efforts to reconstruct the Strip following its latest war on Gaza.
As a means of pressuring the Palestinian Hamas resistance group, which runs the Gaza Strip, Israel has severely limited the transfer of building materials and other goods into Gaza.
The latest round of Israeli violence against Palestinians comes three months after the Israeli military bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip for 11 consecutive days, killing at least 260 Palestinians, Including 66 children.
The Gaza-based resistance groups also fired around 4,000 rockets towards the Israeli-occupied territories during the 11-day war.
Two million Palestinians live under the siege in Gaza, with Israel restricting the movement of goods and people in and out of the enclave.
Israel’s blockade of Gaza, with the proclaimed aim of targeting Hamas, has severely harmed Gaza’s infrastructure, leading to shortages of electricity and drinking water.
It has also devastated Gaza’s economy and fueled an unemployment rate hovering around 50 percent.
Israel and Hamas have fought four wars and countless skirmishes since 2007.
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