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Israeli forces injure Palestinian with live fire during protests in the Gaza Strip

Aug. 13, 2016 1:46 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2016 4:31 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Friday injured a Palestinian with live fire in the eastern part of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip during clashes with Israeli forces deployed near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma’an that a 23-year-old sustained light injuries in the leg as Israeli snipers opened live fire at several Palestinians as protests erupted in the refugee camp.

Meanwhile, protests were also reported in the eastern part of Gaza City, where witnesses told Ma’an Israeli snipers hid behind large dirt mounds as they shot live fire and tear gas bombs at the protesters.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that protesters "approached the buffer zone" after which Israeli forces "fired warning shots," causing the protesters to retreat. The spokesperson made no comment on the reported injury.

Since the start of what Palestinians have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” that spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have crowded near the borders with Israel every Friday to show solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

At least 26 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since October, the majority of which were shot dead by Israeli forces during popular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israeli border. Though the unrest has settled down, Palestinians in Gaza continue to experience Israeli military incursions along Israel’s unilaterally declared “buffer zone” on an almost daily basis, with Israeli forces routinely opening live fire on Palestinian farmers, shepherds, and fishermen.

At least 161 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been injured by Israeli forces since the start of 2016, with 1,422 Gazans injured during 2015, according to UN documentation. At least 15,475 Palestinians in the whole of the occupied Palestinian territory were injured by Israeli forces during 2015.

The majority of the more than 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a near-decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

The UN has warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable for residents by 2020, pointing to the devastation of war and the crippling effects of Israel's blockade.

UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing services to some five million Palestinian refugees, noted last month that 80 percent of the population in Gaza were dependent on humanitarian assistance.

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