Four Palestinians were killed and 51 injured
during clashes on Friday with Israeli army forces in the eastern Gaza
Strip, medics and security sources said.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra told reporters that two demonstrators were shot dead and 51 injured by Israeli soldiers' gunfire during the weekly anti-Israel protests in the eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.
Al-Qedra added that another two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli warplanes airstrike on central Gaza Strip, east of al-Mughazi refugee camp, also close to the border with Israel. Friday's clashes broke out in the afternoon as part of weekly rallies and protests that have been going on since March 30 last year.
The Gaza Health Ministry said that since the outbreak of the weekly protests last year, the Israeli army killed 275 demonstrators and wounded 17,000 others, who were officially referred to hospitals. Israel Radio reported that thousands of Palestinians gathered close to the fence on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, waved Palestinian flags, released arson balloons, climbed on the border fence and threw stones and home-made grenades on the soldiers.
Meanwhile, security sources said the two are Hamas militants and were killed in an Israeli warplanes airstrike on a training military facility that belongs to the Islamic movement's armed wing.
The Israeli army airstrike on Hamas training facility came shortly after gunmen opened fire at an Israeli army force stationed on the border with eastern Gaza Strip and wounded two soldiers; one of them sustained moderate injuries. No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting attack; however, an Israeli army spokesman said in a press statement that the Hamas movement is held responsible for the shooting attack that came from eastern Gaza. According to the Health Ministry, more than 270 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured in protests at the border since March last year. Hamas is classified by the EU, Israel and the US as a terrorist organization. Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza for over a decade, citing security reasons.
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