MIDDLE EAST

Palestinian dies of wounds from Israeli fire in Gaza

A Palestinian youth breathed his last on Saturday from wounds he sustained from Israeli army fire in the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry.

Mohamed Jihad Gawdat, 20, was injured during anti-occupation protests east of Gaza City on Friday.

"He died of his wounds on Saturday," the ministry said in a statement.

Nearly 270 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire since Palestinians began holding regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in March of last year.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel's 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

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