GAZA CITY, Palestine
Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday took part in the funerals of four young Palestinians recently killed by the Israeli army near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
Palestinians in the strip’s southern city of Khan Yunis bid farewell to Naji Abu Assi, 18, and Alaa Abu Assi, 21, both of whom were killed earlier this week by Israeli artillery shelling.
And in the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, hundreds performed funeral prayers for Mohamed Abu Naji, 34, who was also recently martyred near the fraught buffer zone.
In the Shati refugee camp west of Gaza City, meanwhile, dozens of local residents performed funeral prayers for Ahmad Omar, 20, another Palestinian youth slain by Israeli army gunfire.
Since March 30, thousands of Palestinians have taken part in ongoing rallies along the buffer zone, to which the Israeli army has responded with deadly force.
Protesters demand that they be allowed to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
Demonstrators also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has destroyed the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
Reporting by Nour Abu Aisha; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg