UPDATE – Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla; 4 Palestinians injured

UPDATES WITH ADDITIONAL DETAIL, BACKGROUND

By Hidaya al-Saedi and Hani al-Shaer

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – At least four Palestinians were injured when the Israeli navy opened fire on a 20-vessel flotilla that set out Monday from the northern Gaza Strip in hopes of breaking the decade-long blockade of the coastal enclave.

Once the flotilla reached Gaza’s maritime border, four Palestinians — including one journalist — were injured by intense Israeli navy gunfire, eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency.

The injured journalist was later identified as Atiyyeh Hijazi, who works for Iran’s Al-Alam television channel.

For the last 11 years, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli blockade that has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Since March 30, Palestinians in Gaza have been holding regular demonstrations against the blockade near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Since the rallies kicked off more than five months ago, over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops deployed along the buffer zone.

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