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  • A relative of Palestinian teen Hassan Shalabi reacts as his body is brought into a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip Feb. 8, 2019.

    A relative of Palestinian teen Hassan Shalabi reacts as his body is brought into a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip Feb. 8, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 February 2019

Palestinians say the weekly protests are led by civil society groups demanding an easing of the blockade and recognition of their right to return to homes in Israel.

Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinian teenagers including a 14-year-old boy during Gaza border protests Friday, Palestinian health officials said.

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Palestinians have been staging weekly protests since last March dubbed as the March for Return protests in which the demonstrators call for their return to the villages their ancestors were kicked out from upon the foundation of Israel in 1948.

Gaza, home to 2 million Palestinians, nearly all of them the stateless descendents of people who fled or were driven out of Israel on its founding in 1948, has been under Israeli military blockade for over a decade and has experienced three different aggressions by Israel.

The enclave's health ministry says more than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops at the protests.

Gaza health officials said one of the youths shot dead on Friday was 18 and the other 14.

Israel says it has no choice but to use deadly force at the protests to defend the frontier from "militants" trying to destroy the barrier and infiltrate.

Israel and Egypt imposed a security blockade on the enclave after Hamas seized control of it in 2007, which the United Nations says has left the Palestinian strip with severe humanitarian health crisis.

Palestinians say the weekly protests are led by civil society groups demanding an easing of the blockade and recognition of their right to return to homes in Israel.


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