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Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians in Gaza clashes

Sept. 16, 2016 10:14 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 18, 2016 6:02 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinians on Friday after clashes broke out during protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, when several youths gathered near the border fence to protest Israel's policies in the occupied West Bank and the ongoing blockade in Gaza.

Ministry of Health Spokesman in the Gaza Strip Ashraf al-Qidrah said one Palestinian was injured in the thigh and in moderate condition, while the other was injured in the hand.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after “violent riots” erupted with Palestinians rolling burning tires and throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers stationed at the border fence, Israeli forces “shot toward the main instigators” in order to “prevent a further escalation.”

She confirmed that "one hit was made."

Earlier this month, an 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza was killed after a soldier reportedly shot the youth in the head during protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp. The Israeli army, however, has denied any involvement in the deadly shooting.

At least 28 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since a wave of violence first erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel last October, according to Ma'an documentation. The majority of the slain Palestinians were shot dead during protests along the security barrier near Israel.

During the height of the protests, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip crowded near the border with Israel nearly every Friday to show solidarity with what Palestinians in Gaza have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

More than 1,500 Gazans have been injured by Israeli forces since the start of 2015, the vast majority during clashes that broke out with the Israeli military during protests since October, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Palestinian youths still routinely engage in protests near the border with Israel to demand an end to the near decade-long siege on the small coastal enclave, with Israeli forces regularly opening live fire on the demonstrators, resulting in scores of Palestinians being wounded.

The Israeli-imposed blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into poverty. The destruction from three Israeli offensives over the past six years and slow reconstruction due to the blockade led the UN in September to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

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