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Two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza

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Palestinians run after Israeli troops fire tear gas during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City (Reuters)

Two Palestinians, including one teenager, have been shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza, the besieged enclave’s health ministry has said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the ministry spokesman’s, said a 14-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 Mustafa Abed Rabbo, 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.

The second fatality was a man in his thirties, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

Qedra added that more than 15 people had been injured in the clashes.

The Israeli army said that around 12,000 demonstrators had joined Friday’s protests.

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.

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 176 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.

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