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7 Palestinian protesters killed by Israeli army gunfire

Death toll rises as Israel cracks down on 'March of Return' protests

At least seven Palestinians were martyred by Israeli army gunfire on Friday and dozens were injured, near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel, reported on Anadolu Agency 

“Since the morning, Gaza’s hospitals have received three martyrs,” Palestinian ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Anadolu Agency.

“Two of them were taken to Gaza’s European Hospital, and a third was taken to Gaza’s Shifa medical centre,” he said.

The ministry has not provided the names of the three slain Palestinians.

“The two hospitals have also received dozens of injured demonstrators,” Al-Qidra added.

In a subsequent briefing, Al-Qidra confirmed that four more Palestinians succumbed to their injuries.

Since Friday morning, tens of thousands of Gazans have converged on the strip’s roughly 45-kilometer eastern border with Israel to reaffirm their right to return to their ancestral homes in historical Palestine.

Read: Religious scholars in Gaza call for full participation in ‘Great March of Return’

Dubbed the “Great Return March”, Friday’s mass demonstrations are also intended to pressure Israel to lift its decade-long blockade of Gaza.

The rallies have been endorsed by virtually all Palestinian political factions, which have repeatedly stressed the event’s peaceful nature.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has suffered from a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its more than 2 million inhabitants of many vital commodities.

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