TEHRAN, Apr. 06 (Press Shia) –Israeli regime’s forces have shot dead two more Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border, raising the death toll to 22 in Israel’s brutal crackdown on the week-long protests demanding the right to return to homeland.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said 38-year-old Ussama Khamis Qadih was martyred east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday.
The ministry also said that Magdy Ramadan Shabat was martyred east of Gaza City.
According to the report, 252 Palestinians were also injured during the clashes, five of them critically, reported Press TV.
Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli regime’s troops near Gaza’s fence as large groups of protesters gathered for a new round of protests as part of a six-week rally dubbed the “Great March of Return,” which began last Friday.
Thousands of protesters gathered in locations near the fence east of Khan Yunis, in the south of the blockaded Palestinian enclave, and east of Gaza City.
Last Friday’s protests turned violent when Israeli regime’s military forces used lethal force to disperse the protesters, shooting and killing 20 unarmed demonstrators. One of the casualties succumbed to his wounds earlier today.
Thousands of Palestinians have stayed in tent encampments near the fence over the past week.
During the latest protests today, Palestinians set fire to mounds of tires in what they want to be a smokescreen from Israeli snipers.
Israeli regime has deployed tanks, armored vehicles and special forces near the fence and given shoot-to-kill permission to its troops.
Israeli forces reportedly took up positions across a ridge on the other side of the fence and set up a giant fan about two meters high in an apparent bid to push away the smoke.
The new casualties came despite a UN call for restraint.
Earlier on Friday, the United Nations human rights office called on Israeli regime to refrain from using excessive force against the demonstrators.
UN human rights spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell said that guns should only be used as a last resort, warning that unjustified recourse to the use of firearms is a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and may amount to willful killing of civilians.
In the Gaza Strip, almost 1.3 million of the small territory’s two million inhabitants are refugees demanding their right to return to their pre-1948 homes.
The protests are slated to continue until May 15, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), in which more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced by Israeli forces in 1948 Arab-Israeli war.