Published On: Fri, Mar 30th, 2018

Palestinian killed before mass Gaza protest

Gaza: A Palestinian farmer was killed and another was injured on Friday by Israeli artillery fire on eastern Gaza Strip, officials said, hours before a major protest by Palestinians along the border.

Shelling came as the Palestinians were preparing to launch a six-week protest

Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al Qedra said 27-year-old Omar Wahid Samur was killed and another one was moderately injured when the Israeli fire hit east of al-Garara town east of Khan Younis.

The shelling came as the Palestinians were preparing to launch a six-week protest dubbed the “Great March of Return”, scheduled to start on Friday amid Israeli Army presence on the borderline area with the Gaza Strip, the BBC reported.

Hamas, the militant group which dominates the Gaza Strip, accused Israel of trying to intimidate Palestinians by killing the farmer and by urging them not to participate in the protests.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the protest was a “deliberate attempt to provoke a confrontation with Israel” and that “responsibility for any clashes lies solely with Hamas and other participating Palestinian organisations”.

March 30 marks Land Day, which commemorates the killing of six protesters by Israeli security forces during demonstrations over land confiscation in 1976.

According to witnesses, the two men were hit by tank fire while collecting parsley in a field.

Palestinians erected five main camp areas along the Israel border for the protest, from Erez in the north to Rafah near the Egyptian border in the south.

The protest is scheduled to end on May 15.

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