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Israel minister wants to build settlement near Gaza in response to missile attacks

Former commander of the Israeli army's Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant
Former commander of the Israeli army's Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant

Israel’s housing minister is planning to build a new settlement close the blockaded Gaza Strip in relation to mass protests and the worst flare-up since a 2014 war.

Yoav Galant, who is also a Security Cabinet member, will submit plans on Sunday to build the settlement to house at least 500 families just seven kilometres from the Palestinian enclave, Israel Hayom reported.

Galant hopes the settlement will be set up near the religious Kibbutz Saad, which has been the target of numerous rocket attacks from Gaza.

The report comes after more than 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during protests along the border with Gaza.

On Saturday, thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of a young female volunteer medic killed by Israeli fire on Gaza’s border.

‘Hit me with your bullets. I am not afraid’ – Israel kills budding Gaza nurse

On Saturday evening, factions in the Palestinian enclave fired two projectiles at southern Israel, to which Israel responded with at least 3 air strikes in Gaza. No group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the projectile attacks, which came shortly after the funeral of Razan al-Najjar, 21, a volunteer with the Gaza health ministry, who was fatally shot in the chest near Khan Yunis on Friday.

Israeli troops have killed at least 120 Palestinians and more than 10,000 have been injured since mass demonstrations began on March 30.

No Israelis have been killed and only a few soldiers have suffered minor injuries.

The protests – dubbed “Great Return March” – have centred on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, after they were expelled following the 1948 creation of Israel.

Protesters have also demonstrated against the crippling decade-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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