Gaza City, February 9 (RHC)-- Two Palestinian teenage boys have lost their lives and dozens of protesters sustained injuries during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between the eastern Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.
The spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement that 14-year-old Hassan Iyad Shalabi was fatally shot in the chest during a “Great March of Return” protest east of the city of Khan Yunis, located about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Gaza City, on Friday. Qidra added that Hamza Mohammed Roshdi Ashtiwi, 17, died east of the Gaza Strip after he was hit in the neck with a live bullet.
He noted that eight demonstrators suffered gunshot wounds, while dozens of Palestinians suffered excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces sought to suppress the anti-occupation rallies.
Medical sources said six people were injured while participating in a demonstration at Malika refugee camp east of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli troops also fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at demonstrators taking part in a rally at al-Awdah refugee camp east of Rafah city, located 30 kilometers south of Gaza City. The forces targeted an ambulance with a tear gas canister as well.
Palestinians have held weekly protests on the Gaza border, over the siege on the enclave and the right for refugees to return to their homes they were forcibly expelled from during the 1948 creation of Israel.
More than 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30th last year. Over 26,000 Palestinians have also suffered injuries.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14th last year, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the U.S. embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem.