A 17-year-old Palestinian was killed by an Israeli sniper during Friday’s ‘Great March of Return’ protest. Nearly 400 others, including journalists and paramedics, were injured in clashes with the IDF along the Gaza border.
Israeli snipers have once again been active along the Gaza-Israeli border as Palestinian protesters continue to put pressure on the frontier in weekly protests that started on March 30. The latest march drew at least 7,000 activists, who, among other things, protested against Washington’s recent move to cut some $60 million in funding from the UN Work and Relief Agency (UNWRA).
Amid tense confrontation just east of the Rafah crossing, one of the snipers shot 17-year-old Bilal Mustafa Khafaja in the chest, killing the teenager, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Another 395 people, including 35 minors, three paramedics and three journalists, were injured in the clashes near the border fence, Wafa news agency reported. While many people sought medical treatment for injuries caused by tear gas and rubber bullets, at least 100 people were taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds.
In response to the violent “riots” which “damaged security infrastructure,” the Israeli military struck two Hamas observation posts in Gaza. “Since March, Gazans have violently rioted along the security fence every Friday and today was no exception,” the IDF said. “The rioters rolled burning tires and threw rocks, firebombs, and a grenade at IDF troops who responded with riot dispersal means.”
At least 172 Palestinians have been killed and more than 19,000 injured by Israeli soldiers as the protests, triggered by the lack of prospects for an independent Palestinian state, enter their sixth month.