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Egypt returns body of Gazan killed while swimming through border

Dec. 31, 2015 7:37 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2015 7:37 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Egyptian authorities on Thursday returned the body of a Palestinian who was shot dead last week, after he was spotted swimming through the sea across Gaza's southern border into Egyptian territorial waters, the Gaza based Ministry of Interior told Ma'an. 

The Ministry said they received the body of 28-year-old Ishaq Khalil Hassan through the Rafah border crossing. 

On Friday, Al Jazeera released footage of the moment Hassan was killed after swimming past Gaza's southern border into Egyptian waters.

Egyptian border guards opened fire on him while Palestinian forces on the other side of the border called on them to stop.

Hassan's brother, Ahmad Hassan, told Al Jazeera that he did not believe his brother was "fully aware or expecting" the Egyptian army to shoot him, citing psychological problems brought on by life in Gaza.

"Hassan was unemployed, desperate, and deeply frustrated because of his inability to leave Gaza for treatment. But the Egyptians never allowed him to leave or cross the border," he reportedly said.

"The Egyptians are equal, if not even worse, than the Israelis when it comes to their treatment of Palestinians."

On Saturday, Iyad al-Buzm, the spokesperson for the Hamas-run Ministry of the Interior in Gaza, said in a statement: "We strongly denounce this act, which is contrary to all humanitarian laws and traditions."

He called on the Egyptian authorities to promptly investigate the incident and bring the Egyptian border guards responsible for killing Hassan to justice.

Al-Buzm added that Hassan was suffering "psychological disorders" when he crossed the border and was gunned down.
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