Israeli forces opened fire at different fronts on the Gaza boundary fence today, killing two young Palestinians during today’s clashes.
Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman of Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Mohammed Qeita, a 26-year old protester, was shot in his abdomen by an Israeli live bullet. Qeita came with his cousin from Khan Younis to participate at the Friday’s protest at al-Bureij’s border fence, located near the overcrowded al-Bureij Palestinian refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of protesters carried his bleeding body before he died of his critical injury which he sustained during the protest.
Less than two hours later, medics in Gaza confirmed that Mohammed Abu-Zayed, 19, was also killed, shot in his head and neck. According to witnesses’ testimonies, Israeli snipers picked off the two protesters without prior warning.
At least another two injuries were reported during the clashes which erupted between unarmed Palestinian protesters and Israeli Forces on east of al-Bureij.
Protesters confirmed that the Israeli military stationed on the border fired tear gas canisters at them, suffocating dozens who were transferred to the al-Aqsa Martyrs, a central hospital in the middle area of Gaza, to get the needed medical care.
More than five protesters were reported injured at the Nahal Oz crossing east of Gaza city. Many Gazan youth marched on the area this afternoon before Israeli soldiers attacked them with their heavy weapons.
The Ministry of Health said that most of the injured were hit in their lower limbs and were receiving treatment at al-Shefa Hospital in Gaza city.
Today’s deadly clashes brought the number of Palestinians killed since the start of the ongoing unrest in the occupied Palestinian territories at 161, 26 of which are from Gaza.
Israeli forces claimed that some protesters tried “to breach the buffer zone” east of al-Bureij, and the soldiers responded by opening fire. Protesters tried to throw stones and Molotov cocktails at the barbed wire which is a noticeable distance away from the Israeli soldiers.
“Israelis are not true in their claims, we as protesters know very well that we cannot cross the fence. And if we assume that protesters in al- Bureij tried to cross the fence, and the Israeli soldiers had to respond, why there are other causalities in the east of Gaza?” said Muneer Salem, a 18-year old protester in al- Bureij. He accuses Israeli forces of intentionally killing unarmed protesters.
“The shoot to kill policy is now implemented in Gaza” said Muneer.
Some activists called on social media yesterday for a “Rage Friday” on the Gaza borders to express their strong support of the Palestinian intifada which continues in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They believe that Gaza should be a spearhead at any Palestinian action.
“Without Gaza being fully involved on the intifada, it would never be called an intifada then” said Youins Abu Jarad, a media activist in Gaza.
Fridays are known to be a central occasions for these protests.
Fayez Abu-Shamalh, a political analyst based in Gaza said that Israel is not interested in reopening the Gaza front, but it is sure to demonstrate its so-called “sovereignty” in the face of the Palestinians.
“The Israeli occupation attempts to violently deter any Palestinian actions that are meant to humiliate the IDF,” Abu-Shamalh told Mondoweiss.