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Israeli gunfire kills a Gazan during border protests

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By Reuters

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man during the latest of weekly protests along the border with Israel on Friday, Palestinian health officials said.

They said Karam Fayyad, 26, was killed and six other people were wounded with live Israeli fire during Friday’s protests that went ahead despite stormy weather.

“Troops resorted to live fire after confronting 5,000 rioters, some of who threw rocks and grenades,” said an Israeli military spokeswoman.

She added that two Palestinian protesters briefly crossed the fence before returning into Gaza.

Health officials in Gaza, which is run by the Islamist Hamas movement, say more than 220 Palestinians have been killed since they began weekly border protests on March 30 to demand the easing of Israel’s blockade on the territory and the right to return to land lost in the 1948 war of Israel’s founding.

Israel has ruled out any such right, concerned that the country would lose its Jewish majority.

Alarmed at the bloodshed, Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar have sought ways to improve conditions in the enclave.

Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land, air and sea borders. The wider Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been stalled for several years.

(Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Toby Chopra)