A wounded Palestinian demonstrator reacts as he is hit in the face with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest marking al-Quds Day, (Jerusalem Day), at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip June 8, 2018..
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)
GAZA - Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians, one of them a 14-year-old boy, and wounded 415 others with live fire and tear gas during protests along the Gaza border on Friday, Gaza health officials said.
Gaza medical officials said the boy, Yasser Abu Al-Naja, 14, and Mohammad Al-Hamayda, 24, were hit by live bullets. They added that four other men wounded by live fire were in critical condition.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment on Friday's protests and a spokesman said a statement would be issued later.
Palestinians say the protests are a popular outpouring of rage against Israel by Palestinians demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from during the war of 1948.
Israel says the demonstrations are organized by the Islamist terrorist group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel's right to exist.
Tens of thousands took part when the protests were launched at several locations along the Gaza border but the number has dropped significantly in the past few weeks and only a few thousand have participated recently.
Israel has accused Hamas of stoking the violence in an attempt to deflect domestic opinion from Gaza's energy shortages and faltering economy.
Israel maintains a naval blockade of Gaza and tight restrictions on the movement of people and goods at its land borders. Egypt has also kept its own Gaza frontier largely closed. Both countries cite security concerns for the measures, which have deepened economic hardship.
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