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2 Palestinians injured in Gaza border clashes have died, Hamas says

Strip’s health ministry says the two were shot by Israeli troops during separate protests in recent weeks

Palestinian protestors during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Israel-Gazan border east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip April 20, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Palestinian protestors during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Israel-Gazan border east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip April 20, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The Hamas-run Gaza Strip health ministry said Monday that two Palestinians shot during recent weeks’ clashes along the border fence with Israel have died of their injuries.

A spokesman for the ministry named the latest fatalities as Tahrir Wahada, 18, and Abdullah Shamali, 20.

Spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said Wahada was shot in the head in a clash east of Khan Younis on April 6, and Shamali died of “bullet wounds to his belly” sustained on Friday.

According to al-Qidra, a total of 40 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes. Israel has not confirmed the figures.

Last Friday marked the fourth round of weekly mass border protests encouraged by the Hamas terror group that rules Gaza, which says the demonstrations are ultimately aimed at erasing the border and liberating Palestine.

Some 3,000 Palestinians protested along the Gaza border with Israel, burning tires and flying flaming kites across the frontier to set Israeli fields ablaze, witnesses and the army said. Soldiers responded with less-lethal weapons as well as live fire, killing four, according to Hamas, including a 15-year-old boy. The IDF later said the slain teen, Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub, was trying to damage the border barrier. Videos circulated on social media appeared to show Ayoub having been shot in the head. The killing drew harsh international condemnation, with the EU adding its voice on Saturday.

In all, the Gaza ministry said that some 445 people were injured, including 96 from live fire. The numbers were not verified by Israel.

Hamas has acknowledged that several of those killed in recent weeks were its members, and Israel has identified other fatalities as members of terrorist groups.

Israel accuses Hamas of using civilian shields, including women and children, as cover for carrying out attacks along the border.

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