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Israeli-Gaza protests: Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli fire

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Israeli-Gaza protests: Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli fire

Israeli-Gaza protests: Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli fire
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REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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At least ten Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops on a new day of clashes at the Gaza border according to the Palestinian health ministry.

According to Israeli troops, they opened fire on Palestinians because they attempted to breach the border fence.

A Palestinian journalist was among those killed on Saturday. Yaser Murtaja, 30, was shot on Friday by Israeli forces while covering the protests. He died of his wounds in the hospital.

Murtaja was the 29th Palestinian killed during the protests, said health officials.

Photos of Murtaja when he was wounded show him lying on a stretcher with a 'PRESS' jacket in large blue letters.

REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Mortally wounded Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, 31, is evacuated during clashes with Israeli troops at the Israel-Gaza border, in the southern Gaza Strip April 6, 2018REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Reuters the army was looking into the incident and could not comment further at this stage.

Ashraf Abu Amra, a freelance photographer, told Reuters that he was next to Murtaja during the protests and that he was wearing protective gear.

"Israeli forces opened fire and injuries began. Yaser and I ran to film when suddenly Yaser fell to the ground.

"I screamed to him 'Yaser are you alright?'. He didn't respond and there was blood on the ground underneath him. I knew it was a bad injury and people carried him away," said Abu Amra.

AFP journalist Joe Dyke was present at Murtaja's funeral in Gaza, which was attended by hundreds of mourners and journalists. During the procession to his home, the journalist's body was covered with a Palestinian flag and his press jacket.

The protests dubbed "The Great March of Return" started on March 30 and demand the right for Palestinians to return back to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel. But the Israeli government says Hamas — recognised by the West as a terrorist organisation — is masterminding the protests to cover up attacks. Hamas denies this.

At least three other journalists have been injured during the week-long protests, said Gaza officials. There have been no Israeli casualties so far.