World, Middle East

Palestinian martyred by Israel gunfire near Gaza border

Young man’s death brings to 18 the total number of Palestinians killed near border since Friday

Palestinian martyred by Israel gunfire near Gaza border File photo

By Mohammed Majid

GAZA CITY, Palestine

A Palestinian youth was shot dead Tuesday by the Israeli army near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.

“Ahmed Omar Arafa, 25, was martyred after being shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers near the eastern border of the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip,” Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement.

Arafa's death brings to 18 the total number of Gazans killed by Israeli gunfire since Friday when Palestinians staged mass rallies near the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel.

According to the Health Ministry, more than 1,500 Palestinian demonstrators have been injured -- many seriously -- over the same period.

Friday’s rallies marked the beginning of a planned six-week-long demonstration that will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment -- an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”.

In the run-up to the mass demonstration last week, Israel had deployed thousands of troops along the border, threatening to use live ammunition against anyone who threatened Israel’s “security infrastructure”.

Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees be granted the “right of return” to their towns and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

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