At least four Palestinians were killed in Gaza Saturday, Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed saying the deaths were the result of a tank shell attack by Israel’s Army just east of the city of Rafah.
However, Reuters reported an Israeli military spokesman saying “we have no knowledge of any Israeli strike in the area,” denying involvement. Local residents told Reuters the four men were members of the Islamic Jihad group, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.
During the third consecutive Friday protest along the Gaza-Israel border, at least three Palestinian were reported killed and 969 were wounded, 233 by Israeli live ammunition, the Health Ministry said.
Among the people injured with live ammunition are two journalists and 14 medics.
Islam Hirzallah, 28, died after Israeli snipers shot him in the stomach, Mohammed Hamada Hijila, 36, was killed in an airstrike in East of Shujaya, and Abdullah Al-Shehri, 28 years old, was killed by Israeli sniper fire at the eastern border.
Overall, at least 36 Palestinians have been murdered in the context of the Great March of Return protests, which began on March 30, Palestinian Land Day.
The protests are scheduled to continue until May 15, when Palestinian commemorate 70 years of the Nakba or catastrophe, when at least 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their lands under the threat of violence unleashed by the foundation of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948.
Despite international criticism of Israel’s use of lethal force against unarmed protesters who do not pose an immediate threat to life, Israel has continued its open-fire policies against demonstrators along the Gaza border.
Through the protests Gazans, who have lived under a decade-long blockade, are demanding their right as refugees to return to their homes in present-day Israel.