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Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Gaza, bringing death toll to 18

April 3, 2018 11:22 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2018 2:12 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli forces on the Gaza border on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, bringing the death toll in the besieged coastal enclave to 18 since massive protests began on Friday.

The ministry identified tha man as 25-year-old Ahmed Arafa, saying he was shot in the chest in the “buffer zone” area of the border, east of the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Arafa's death marks the 18th Palestinian casualty since a mass demonstration known as the "Great March of Return" began on Friday, in which thousands of Palestinians demonstrated to demand their right of return to their original villages in what is now Israel.

Rights groups condemned Israel’s excessive use of force against protesters in Gaza after 16 people were killed on Friday alone.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, released a statement on Friday condemning Israel’s use of military snipers against the civilian protesters.

“The Israeli military’s use of 100 snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal, the statement said, adding “live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants,” the group said.

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