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Israeli forces fatally shoot Palestinian teenager in Gaza

Mumin Abu Ayeda, 15, was participating in nightly protest in southern Gaza
Gaza protest targeted by Israeli tear gas (AFP/file photo)

Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian teenager in southern Gaza late on Wednesday, the health ministry in the besieged enclave said.

A spokesperson for the ministry identified the victim as 15-year-old Mumin Abu Ayeda.

Ayeda was participating in nighttime demonstrations as a part of the Great March of Return protest campaign. He was shot in the head.

The protests call for an end to the 11-year Israeli blockade on Gaza and for Palestinian refugees' right of return to the lands that their families fled during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

The majority of Gaza's population are refugees whose families were among the 700,000 Palestinians who had to flee or were forcefully expelled from their homes.

Israeli forces have targeted protesters with tear gas and live ammunition, killing more than 184 Palestinians, including journalists and medics, since late March.

On Tuesday, two Palestinians were killed in Gaza during protests near the Erez crossing into Israel.

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Israel maintains a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip, which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished area's two million residents.

Israel's tactics against the protests have drawn international condemnation.

Still, Washington has backed its ally in accusing Hamas of staging the mass-mobilisation, a claim dismissed by the group and the protests' organisers.

UN and Egyptian mediators have been trying to reach a deal to calm Gaza, where Israel has waged three wars in the last decade. The brokering efforts have been complicated by Hamas's feuding with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has restricted funding to Gaza.

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