Two Palestinians, including a deaf teenager, have succumbed to wounds sustained during the ongoing “Great March of Return” protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 18-year-old Tahrir Mahmoud Wahba, who was deaf, died this morning.
The teenager was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during protests on Friday in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Younis, near the Al-Awdeh refugee camp.
Late last night, the ministry reported that a Palestinian “youth,” identified as Abdullah Muhammad Al-Shamali, succumbed to wounds he sustained on Friday.
Al-Shamali was a resident of the southern city of Rafah.
According to the Ministry of Health, the deaths of Wahba and Al-Shamali brought the total death toll in Gaza since the “Great March of Return” began on 30 March to 41 Palestinians, including at least three minors and a journalist.
The WHO also criticised Israel for harming medical personnel, stating that 48 medical staffers have been injured by Israeli fire while trying to evacuate the wounded. At least 19 ambulances are also believed to have been targeted by sniper fire or tear gas grenades.
The massive nonviolent protests in Gaza have seen thousands of Palestinian refugees come out to demand their collective right of return to their homeland.
The six-week protest is set to end on 15 May, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe” when the state of Israel was created after the forced displacement of nearly a million Palestinians.
Prior to last week’s protests, UN human rights experts condemned “the continued use of firearms, including live ammunition” by Israeli forces “against mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters and observers”, calling on Israel to uphold its responsibilities under international law.