Palestinian teen dies after being wounded by Israeli fire on Gaza border

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A 15-year-old Palestinian youth died on Saturday after being shot the previous day by Israeli troops during protests along the Gaza border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Israeli forces have killed 42 Palestinians since Gaza residents began staging protests along the border fence on March 30. The demonstrators are pressing for a right of return for refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel.

The teenager killed was identified as Azzam Aweida. Hundreds of people gathered at his home in the southern town of Khan Younis to attend the funeral.

Mourners carried his body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, to a nearby mosque for prayers before burial. “My son is a martyr and I am very proud of him,” said his father, Helal Aweida.

The Palestinians say Israel is using excessive force against the protesters, 2,000 of whom have been wounded by gunfire.

Israel’s use of live fire has drawn international criticism.

Israel says it is protecting its borders and takes such action only when protesters, some hurling stones and rolling burning tires, come too close to the border fence.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein on Friday called the loss of life deplorable and said a “staggering number” of injuries had been caused by live ammunition.

The Gaza Health Ministry said that three Palestinians were killed on Friday and 200 were wounded by gunfire. The Israeli military said about 14,000 Gazans had been participating in what it described as “riots” and that some had tried to breach the frontier.

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