Israel gunfire kills Palestinian in Gaza days after ceasefire

Israeli fire has killed a Palestinian in Gaza during demonstrations by the Israeli fence Gaza officials said, despite a ceasefire agreement reached on Monday that ended days of fighting.

Abdullah Abd al-Aal, 24, was shot in the stomach on Friday near the Israeli fence east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Gaza’s health ministry said, in the first protests there since a deadly flare-up last week.

The ministry said that a total of 30 Palestinians were injured in the protests on Friday, including four children and one field paramedic, who was moderately wounded by an Israeli gunshot to the head.

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

The protests that began on March 30, 2018, demand that Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homes from which they were expelled during the founding of Israel and for a complete lifting of the 12-year Israeli blockade of Gaza.

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 area from Israeli territory.

This week’s demonstrations were seen as a key test for a fragile truce agreed between Gaza and Israel mediated by Egypt and the United Nations.

Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets at Israel beginning on Saturday, after Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in two separate incidents on May 3.

From Saturday, Israeli artillery-shelling was directed at 200 civilian landmarks inside the strip and Israeli warplanes carried out about 150 raids according to the government media office in Gaza.

Over three days, 25 Palestinians were killed along with four Israelis.

The truce agreement was announced by Palestinian factions early on Monday.

Protest organisers are calling for a massive march on May 15 to mark the 71st anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes in 1948 that led to the establishment of Israel.