A young Palestinian man succumbed to his wounds on Thursday after having been shot by the Israeli army one week earlier while taking part in anti-occupation rallies still underway along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.
In a statement, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that Anas Shawqi Abu Asar, 19, had succumbed to injuries sustained the previous Friday while taking part in ongoing border rallies.
In a related development, the Israel authorities arrested one Palestinian — who had been shot and wounded — near the border on Thursday.
In a statement, the Israeli army admitted that it had opened fire on a “suspect” near the border in the northern Gaza Strip.
“The suspect was taken for medical treatment and further investigation,” the statement read, going on to allege that a knife had been found in his possession.
Since the peaceful border rallies began on Mar. 30, at least 47 Palestinians demonstrators — including five children — have been martyred by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures.
Thousands of others have been injured — more than 140 seriously — over the same period, al-Qidra said.
For the last four weeks, Gazans have staged mass rallies along the strip’s eastern border to demand the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15. That day will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “The Catastrophe”.