"Great March of Return" demonstrations in Gaza
Four Palestinians were killed Friday by Israeli forces in two separate incidents near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
The first incident took place in the Khan Younis and Rafah areas in the southern Gaza Strip, where Israeli tanks and aircraft targeted sites belonging to Ezzedine al-Qassam, the armed wing of Hamas movement, killing three of its members.
“Three Palestinians were martyred by Israeli occupation forces, including two in the northern Gaza Strip and a third in the southern city of Rafah,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement.
He did not provide the names or ages of the slain individuals.
However, the al-Qassam Brigades identified the killed men as Shaaban Abu Khater, 26, Mohamed Abu Farhana, 31, and Mahmoud Qeshta, 23.
The second incident took place at the return marches, where a young man was killed and 120 others were wounded by Israeli army gunfire and tear gas.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the martyr as Mohamed Sherif Badwan, 27, who was shot in the chest by the Israeli army, east of Gaza city.
For almost four months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been holding almost daily demonstrations near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
Since the demonstrations began on March 30, more than 140 Palestinian protesters have been martyred -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli army gunfire.
Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.