Two Palestinians injured by Israeli gunfire die from wounds

Two Palestinians injured by Israeli gunfire die from wounds
2 min read
25 May, 2018
Two more Palestinians, aged 23 and 21, wounded by Israeli gunfire during border protests have died, according to Palestinian health ministries.
Palestinians mourn the death of 15-year-old Uday Abukhalil who died in protests last week [Getty]
Two Palestinians wounded after being shot by Israeli forces on the Gaza border earlier this week have passed away, Palestinian health officials in Gaza and the West Bank said on Thursday.

The Gaza health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said that Ahmed Qutoosh, 23, was shot by soldiers "several days ago" east of Bureij, in the central Gaza Strip, without giving further details.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, medical officials told AFP that 21-year-old Mohanad Abu Tahun had been wounded at the border protests and transferred to the city's al-Ahli Hospital on Wednesday. 

They did not say on which date he was shot.

He was one of many Gaza casualties moved out of the coastal territory for treatment after the bloodshed at the border left the already under-resourced hospitals there overwhelmed.

Read more: Why my friends are breaching Gaza's separation fence

The killings of Palestinian protesters peaked on 14 May, since which point as estimated 66 Gazans have been killed by Israeli gunfire and more than 2,700 injured during demonstrations.

Thousands of Palestinians protested to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba - when some 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes, many of them becoming refugees in Gaza - which also coincided with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Tributes to the two young men flooded social networking sites with pictures of Mohanad Abu Tahun (left) and Ahmed Qatoosh (right).

Tensions between Israel and Gaza have spiralled since 30 March, when Palestinians began protesting for the right to return to the homes their families fled or were expelled from in 1948, during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.

At least 121 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli live fire or tear gas since then, according to Palestinian medical officials.

No Israelis have been killed during that time, and only several have suffered minor injuries.

Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass infiltrations from the territory, despite many of those shot being bystanders to the protest or coming nowhere near the multi-layered border fence.

The international community, inclunding the EU and the UN, have expressed their condemnation  of the massacre, calling it a "wholly disproprtionate" reaction to the protests.

Agencies contributed to this report.