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Palestinian teen killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip

Fahed al-Astal, 16, dies after being shot in the stomach in Khan Younis, health ministry says
Palestinian protesters during a Great March of Return demonstration August 2018 (MEE/Mohammed Asad)

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead on Friday by Israeli forces near the fence separating the besieged Gaza Strip from Israel, local media reported.

Fahed al-Astal, 16, died after being shot with a bullet in the stomach during a protest in southern Gaza's Khan Younis, the enclave's health ministry said.

The Israeli army spokesman said that "a report regarding the death of a Palestinian is being looked into."

Palestinians have been staging weekly protests along Gaza's frontier with Israel for the past 20 months, in a wave of demonstrations known as the Great March of Return.

The protesters have been calling for Israel's siege of the coastal enclave to be lifted and the right of return for Palestinians to their ancestral homes in Israel that their families were expelled from in 1948.

Israeli forces have violently cracked down on the overwhelmingly peaceful protests, using live fire and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the demonstrators and push them back from the frontier.

At least 210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the protests began in March 2018, according to local medical officials. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper and another killed in a botched raid in the time since protests began.