A journalist on the ground said Israeli troops were shooting heavily into the protesters (MEE/Mohammed Asad)
Three Palestinians, including one teenager, have been shot dead and more than 248 injured by Israeli forces in Gaza, Palestinian medical sources in the besieged enclave have said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza’s health ministry’s spokesman, said a 12-year-old boy had been shot in the head and killed east of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday.
A medical source named him as Shadi Abed Elall, the AFP news agency reported.
Qedra said a second Palestinian was later shot dead by Israeli soldiers east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the strip.
Two 21-year-olds, Hani Afana and Mohammed Shaqqura, were also shot dead in separate incidents near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza and Al-Bureij in the centre of the coastal enclave, the ministry said.
Since the weekly protests of the March of Return began on 30 March, 177 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers during the protests.
The Israeli army said that around 12,000 demonstrators had joined Friday’s protests. At least 200 people have been reported injured. Six of the wounded are said to be in critical condition.
A journalist on the ground said Israeli troops were shooting heavily into the protesters and there was a lot of black smoke from tear gas.
The Israeli army said that around 12,000 demonstrators had joined Friday’s protests (MEE/Mohammed Asad)
Many women and old people were there helping to rescue those who were injured.
Palestinians have been protesting every Friday since 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.
Since the demonstrations began on 30 March, the Israeli army has killed around 177 Palestinian protesters and wounded thousands more, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
One Israeli soldier has been killed.
Israel maintains a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished strip’s two million residents.