A Palestinian man has died of injuries sustained during weekend confrontations with Israeli forces on the fence that separates Gaza from Israel, the besieged strip’s health ministry says ahead of fresh protests called for Wednesday.
Following Saturday’s unrest, in which dozens of Palestinians were wounded with Israeli live fire, 32-year-old Palestinian Osama Khaled Deaih died after being shot by Israeli forces, the ministry said.
The confrontations also left an Israeli soldier in a critical condition.
Protests were held along the border fence to pressure Israel to remove its crippling blockade and to allow for the reconstruction of Gaza following the recent 11-day Israeli offensive on the coastal enclave.
The Israeli army said it responded with live fire and other measures to Palestinian “rioters” who were hurling explosives over the border fence and attempting to scale it.
Hamas, the group that governs Gaza, said that among the wounded was a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head and left in a critical condition.
In a statement carried by Maan news agency on Wednesday, Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif al-Qanou said the group “mourns the martyr Deaih” and confirms the “continuation of the Palestinian people’s resistance to the occupation”.
Palestinian factions in the Israeli-blockaded enclave have called a new protest for 5pm (14:00 GMT) on Wednesday on the border near the south Gaza city of Khan Younis.
The Israeli army on Saturday said it was reinforcing its Gaza division as it hit multiple Hamas targets with air strikes.
Israel struck Gaza again overnight on Monday and Tuesday in response to incendiary balloon launches that sparked multiple fires in Israel’s southern Eshkol region.
There were no reported casualties from the latest Israeli strikes.
The protests come three months after an informal truce ended an 11-day relentless Israeli offensive that killed 265 people in Gaza. In Israel, 13 people died.
In 2018, Palestinians in Gaza began a protest movement demanding an end to Israel’s blockade and the right for Palestinians to return to lands they were forcibly and violently expelled from when Israel was founded in 1948.
The popular weekly demonstrations, known as the Great March of Return, sputtered as Israel killed some 350 Palestinians in Gaza over more than a year with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas bombs.