UPDATES DEATH TOLL; CHANGES HEADLINE, LEDE
By Mohamed Majid
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – At least five Palestinians were killed and 75 others injured by Israeli army while taking part in ongoing demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that Iyad Khalil al-Shaer, 18, and Mohamed Nayef al-Houm, 14, Mohamed Shahsa, 24, Mohamed Valid Mustafa Haniyyah, 32, and another unidentified 12-year-old child have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.
According to al-Qidra, another 75 Palestinians were injured — two of them seriously — by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.
Protesters — who have been staging demonstrations since March 30 — demand the “right of return” to their homes 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 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of basic commodities.
According to the Health Ministry, more than 180 Palestinians have been martyred — and thousands more injured — since the rallies began some six months ago.