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Israel kills two Palestinian teenagers during #GreatReturnMarch demonstrations

#GreatReturnMarch protests have been going on for nearly a year [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 February, 2019

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Two Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed with more than a dozen more injured by Israeli fire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Two Palestinian teenagers have been killed, along with scores injured by Israeli fire during Great Return March demonstrations along the border on Friday.

The first Palestinian to be shot dead was Hassan Shalabi, 14. The Palestinian health ministry said he "was killed by Israeli occupation live fire to the chest east of Khan Yunis" in the southern Gaza Strip.

Hours later, the Palestinian health ministry announced Hamzah Mohammed Rashdi Ashtiwa, 18, dead.

Another 17 Palestinians were shot and injured at different protest sites along the border, the ministry added.

The Israeli army declined to comment on the death, but claimed 6,700 "rioters and demonstrators" had been protesting along the frontier.

"They are hurling rocks at (Israeli) troops and towards the security fence, as well as a number of explosive devices that did not cross the fence," a spokesman said.

Palestinians have for nearly a year gathered at least weekly along the Gaza border fence for often non-violent marches to demand an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza and the right for Palestinians to return to their homes lost since Israel's creation in 1948.

At least 248 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then, the majority shot during clashes, though others have been hit by tank fire or airstrikes.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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