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Palestinian teenager dies from wounds in Gaza unrest

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Palestinian protesters watch as tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces come through black smoke from burning tyres during a demonstration along the Israeli fence east of Gaza City (AFP)

A Palestinian teenager has died after being shot by Israeli forces last month during protests near the fence separating Gaza from Israel, the health ministry in the besieged enclave said.

Saheeb Abu Kashef, 16, died late on Saturday after being shot on 3 August east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the ministry.

At least 180 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since Palestinians began protesting every Friday on 30 March as part of the Great March of Return.

The protest campaign calls for an end to the 11-year Israeli blockade on Gaza and for Palestinian refugees’ right of return to the lands that their families fled during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

One Israeli soldier has been killed since then.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians, one of them an 11-year-old boy, and wounded at least 248 others taking part in weekly protests at the fortified Gaza Strip border, Palestinian medical officials said.

The boy, named as Shadi Abdel-Al, is the youngest fatality so far from Israeli gunfire.

“He used to go every Friday to the marches like thousands of other people. This Friday was his destiny to die as a martyr,” the boy’s father, Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Al, told the Reuters news agency.

Another Palestinian, 28-year-old Hashem Hassan, said he saw Abdel-Al being shot 70 metres from the fence: “He threw a few stones, which flew just a few yards. He posed no threat.”

Asked about Abdel-Al’s death, a military spokeswoman said only that troops had kept to their open-fire regulations.

Israel accuses Hamas, the movement that runs the Gaza Strip, of seeking to use the protests to carry out attacks or infiltrations.

It says its actions are necessary to defend the border.

Palestinians and rights groups say protesters have been shot while posing little threat.

Israel maintains a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished strip’s two million residents.

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