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Israeli offensive continues, Agencies
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 07:18:30 PM
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Gaza City: A Palestinian teenager was killed and 12 people were wounded, including children, as Israeli troops opened fire at “Land Day” demonstrators near the Gaza border on Tuesday, Palestinian medics said.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the border, east of the town of Khan Yunis, to mark Land Day, an annual commemoration of Israel’s killing of six people during a 1976 protest by Israeli Arabs against land confiscations.
Near the site of fierce clashes, which left two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinians dead over the weekend, protesters hurled stones at troops along the border, who responded with live fire, witnesses said.
Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services, said 11 people, including children, were wounded. One of them, nine-year-old Raid Abu Namus, was in serious condition, medics at a nearby hospital said.
Israeli troops earlier shot dead 15-year-old Mohammed Al-Faramawi in an incident near the southern Gaza town of Rafah, Hassanein said. Witnesses said he had arrived near the border just ahead of a similar march. Another Palestinian, 14, was shot and wounded during a Land Day demonstration in the Maghazi refugee camp of central Gaza, Hassanein said.
The Gaza borders have been mostly quiet since a December 2008-January 2009 Israeli assault on the territory that killed 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.
Israel’s Arab minority leads Land Day demonstrations every year to protest against housing demolitions and land confiscations. Similar events are held in the occupied West Bank as well as in Gaza.
Israel’s 1.2 million Arab citizens, who have the right to vote, are the descendants of the 160,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel after the 1948 Middle East war and creation of the Jewish state.
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