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2 more Palestinians killed amid ongoing Gaza rallies

Palestinians carry the body of a Palestinian who was shot dead by Israeli forces during a protest in Gaza on 5 April 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli army forces on Thursday near the Gaza Strip's eastern border with Israel, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Thursday.

"The man's body was brought to Gaza City's Al-Shifa medical complex. We are in the process of trying to identify him," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a second Palestinian, Shadi Hamdan al-Kashif, 34, succumbed to injuries sustained earlier, according to the ministry.

Al-Kashif sustained a gunshot wound to the head last Friday during mass rallies held on the Gaza-Israel border, a separate Health Ministry statement explained.

The latest deaths bring the total number of Palestinian protesters to have been killed since last Friday to 20.

According to the Health Ministry, more than 1,500 Palestinian demonstrators have been injured, many seriously over the same period.

Read: Israel army to shoot Palestinians within 300m of Gaza fence

Last Friday's border rallies marked the beginning of a planned six-week demonstration that will culminate on 15 May, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment , an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe".

Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees be granted the "right of return" to their towns and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

In the run-up to the mass demonstrations last week, Israel deployed thousands of troops on the border, threatening to use live ammunition against anyone who threatened Israel's "security infrastructure".

In a related development Thursday, three Palestinian fishermen were injured by Israeli naval forces while plying their trade off the coast of Gaza City, according to the Health Ministry.

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