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Palestinian shot dead at Gaza border protest: Medics

A 20-year-old Palestinian was killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli fire on Wednesday during a protest near the heavily guarded border fence, local medics said.



Gaza City: A 20-year-old Palestinian was killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli fire on Wednesday during a protest near the heavily guarded border fence, local medics said.

Ahmed Salim, 20, was taken to Gaza`s Al-Shifa hospital after being shot in the thigh and died shortly after arrival, said Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services.

An Israeli Army spokesman said that soldiers had fired warning shots at stone-throwing demonstrators who tried to start a fire near the border security barrier, without specifying if any Palestinians were hit.

They entered "a combat zone where access is banned following several attempted attacks and infiltrations by terrorist groups," he said.

Witnesses said Salim was with a group of a few dozen Palestinian youths hurling rocks at Israeli troops stationed along the border during a weekly protest attended by a few hundred people.

Gazans have started to hold weekly demonstrations against the buffer zone that extends more than 300 metres (yards) from the Israeli security barrier.

The demonstrations are modelled on similar actions in the West Bank.

Israel insists it only fires warning shots during the protests to keep people out of what it views as a restricted military area, but several people have been wounded since the start of the protests.

The military says the buffer zone is necessary to prevent militant attacks along the border of the territory ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas.

PTI

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