Palestinians martyred by Israeli army gunfire

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli army said Friday it opened fire at a number of Palestinians on the Israel-Gaza fence.

According to an official statement, the Israeli army shot and martyred a number of Palestinians who detonated an explosive device on the fence.

“The Palestinians also attacked military positions of the Israeli army. All of the attackers were killed,” the statement said.

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth identified the killed Palestinians as three young men.

More than 15,000 Palestinians demonstrated at the Israeli-Gaza fence. Six Palestinians were killed and at least 50 others were injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

According to the Health Ministry, more than 200 Palestinians have been martyred — and thousands more injured — since the rallies began on March 30.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman ordered Friday evening to immediately halt the transfer of fuel into the Gaza Strip following heavy demonstrations along the security fence, according to his office.