Palestinian killed, 30 injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in E Gaza


Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza told reporters that Abdulla Abdel Aal, a 24-year-old from the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, died after he was shot by Israeli soldiers in his abdomen.

The Gaza Health Ministry said that since the start of the weekly Great March of Return protests a year ago, the Israeli army has killed more than 275 demonstrators and wounded 17,000 others, who were officially referred to hospitals.

Among the injured were four children and a paramedic, according to health officials.

Israel sees the protests as potential cover for cross-border attacks and a bid by Hamas to distract from its internal governance problems.

The violence started on Friday 3 May when the Israeli military and Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad traded fire.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Artists Association last week called for a boycott of Eurovision, accusing Israel of using the event to "perpetuate oppression, promote injustice or whitewash a brutal apartheid regime".

The fierce back and forth threatened to spill over into an all-out, protracted war, but by early Monday, a ceasefire was reached between Israel and Palestinian factions.

She cited "a number of explosions identified in the Gaza Strip, as well as a number of attempts to approach the fence" dividing the besieged coastal territory from Israeli territory.

Israel also lifted its ban on fishing boats operating off of Gaza's coast on Friday.

The developments came after a week that saw violent clashes along the Israel-Gaza border which remained closed for the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays from May 7 to 9, The Times of Israel reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said approximately 6,000 people took part in Friday's demonstrations.