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Israeli forces shoot dead 2 Palestinians in Gaza clashes

Jan. 15, 2016 3:48 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 16, 2016 6:22 P.M.)
Palestinians carry a man wounded during clashes with Israeli forces, outside a hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 9, 2015. (AFP/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Friday afternoon shot dead two Palestinians during clashes near al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, medical sources said.

Doctors told Ma’an that 19-year-old Muhammad Abu Zayed had been shot in the head. His body was taken to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

Medics added that at least 10 other Palestinian youths had been shot and wounded by live fire during the clashes.

Hours later, a second Palestinian died after being shot in the stomach during clashes in the same area.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the man as Muhammad Majdi Qaita, 26, from Khan Yunis. Qaita had been pronounced dead shortly after being taken to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, the spokesman added.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "multiple riots" were taking place along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Friday.

The spokesperson said that that a number of Palestinians had "breached the buffer zone" and "damaged" the fence in the central Gaza Strip before Israeli forces "called on them to halt and fired warning shots into the air."

Shots were then fired directly at the demonstrators following the "threat of infiltration," the spokesperson said, adding that she was aware of reports of Friday's death but was unable to confirm that any Palestinians were hit.

The death comes two days after another Gazan was killed and three seriously wounded when Israeli artillery bombarded an alleged "terrorist cell" east of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

At least 23 other Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces in clashes along the Gazan border since the beginning of October, according to the UN Agency for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip initially began demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem when unrest grew in the occupied area in October.
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