Two Palestinian teens killed in Gaza protests
Two Palestinians teens have been shot dead by Israeli forces, Gaza's ministry of health said, during Friday's weekly protest against the blockade of Gaza.
Hassan Iyad Shibli, 14, was shot in the chest during the protests on the boundary with Israel, near the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis while Hamza Ishteiwi, 18, was shot in the neck.
Another 17 Palestinians have been injured on Friday, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement.
Friday marked the 46th consecutive week of protests along the boundary, which started late last March with a call for Palestinians to be allowed to return to the ancestral homes they were displaced from during Israel's creation in 1948.
Abdallah Hamada, one of the protesters from near Gaza City, said he was shocked by the injuries to children and speculated that Israel's response to the protests could become harsher in the near future.
"We are approaching the year anniversary and we will renew our commitment to mobilise our energy and moving forward [with the protests]," he said.
"[Because of] the continuation of the [Israeli] occupation's siege on us, we think these clashes will increase and it will use new methods in the coming days."
Israeli forces have killed more than 244 Palestinians and wounded another 26,800 since the beginning of the Great March of Return on 30 March.
Most deaths occurred during protests and clashes, but others have died as a result of air strikes or shelling.
Gaza’s health sector has been overwhelmed by the influx of injuries in the past ten months, its infrastructure further strained by shortages in fuel and medical supplies.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have been slammed for restricting the grant of exit permits to Palestinians residing in Gaza, notably affecting those seeking treatment in Israel, annexed Jerusalem or the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians in Gaza continue to demonstrate at least once a week, calling for the implementation of the right of return for refugees - who make up 1.3 million of Gaza’s two million inhabitants - and for an end to the crippling 11-year Israeli-led blockade of the small coastal territory.
Reporting in Gaza by Mohammed Asad.