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Palestinian journalist and 2 minors among 9 killed by Israeli forces in Gaza on Friday

April 7, 2018 11:20 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2018 1:35 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- At least 9 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were killed by Israeli forces during protests along the border with Israel, including a journalist and two minors.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinians as Osama Khamis, 38, Majdi Shabat, Hussein Mohammed Madi, 16, Subhi Abu Atawi, 20, Muhammad Said al-Haj, 33, Sodki Faraj Abu Atawi, 45, and Alaa Adin Azamli, 17, bringing the death toll to 29 protesters since the "Great March of Return” began.

A Palestinian farmer was also killed last week the before dawn on Friday, March 30th, the first day of the massive demonstration.

Hamza Abd al-Al, 20, and photojournalist Yasser Murtaja, 30, who were shot on Friday, succumbed to their wounds on Saturday.

According to the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate, Murtaja was shot by gunfire while standing 350 meters from the border fence.

Meanwhile, the ministry reported that 1,070 protesters were injured on Friday.

The "Great March of Return” is a weeks-long planned protest in which almost 1.3 million of Gaza’s 2 million inhabitants who are refugees are demanding their right to return to their original homelands from which they were forcibly expelled when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

The six-week protest is set to end on May 15th, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when the state of Israel was created, leaving some 750,000 Palestinians and millions of their descendants as refugees.

Palestinians nicknamed this Friday's demonstration "Jum'at al-Kawshook", which translates to "Friday of Tires", as protesters set fire to thousands of tires along the border, creating huge clouds of black smoke in order to confuse Israeli snipers and prevent them from targeting protesters with live ammunition.

On the first day of protests last week, Israeli forces killed 16 Palestinians and injured over 1,000 more with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas.

Despite widespread outcry from international rights groups who have condemned Israel’s excessive use of forces against the civilian protesters, Israeli has maintained its open-fire rules for the Gaza border.

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