Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Gaza Protester, Injure Another

Israeli forces shot dead one Palestinian and injured another on Friday during a protest east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra, said that 20-year-old Bilal Samer Oweidah died after being shot dead in the chest by Israeli forces near the border.

Owiedah was among a group of Palestinians who had gathered near the border to protest the buffer zone imposed by Israel, al-Qidra said.

Another Palestinian was moderately injured when Israeli forces opened fire on the protesters, he said.

Locals said that Oweidah was taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “Palestinians gathered in a prohibited area near the border,” and began “hurling rocks and burning tires” towards Israeli forces.

She added that Israeli forces sought to break up the protest using “riot dispersal means,” but “after all efforts were exhausted, they fired towards two main instigators and two hits were identified.”

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006.

Israeli forces frequently shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians.

The “security buffer zone” extends between 500 meters and 1500 meters into the Strip, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones.

According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza’s total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.

(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)

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