Israeli fire kills four Palestinians

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Mariam Riyad Dagga

Gaza : Israeli forces have killed four Palestinians, including three teenagers, and shot more than 40 others at gatherings on the Gaza frontier marking the anniversary of the demonstration movement, the territory’s ministry of health said.

In an attempt to limit the huge numbers of casualties at previous rallies, Egypt has sought to broker an agreement between Israel and Hamas, which governs Gaza and has backed the protests.

GMK Photo: Mariam Riyad Dagga

Adham Amara, 17, died at a protest camp in Gaza City, while Tamer Abu el-Khair, also 17, died in hospital after being shot in the southern city of Khan Younis, authorities said.
Another teenager Belal al-Najjar, 17, was also shot dead at a protest location, the ministry said.
Their deaths came hours after Mohammed Saad, 21 , was killed during skirmishes overnight as tens of thousands of Palestinians mark a year of weekly demonstrations on the border.

GMK Photo : Mariam Riyad Dagga

Hamas officials said the group had agreed to prevent protesters approaching the fence and men in orange vests at the main encampments had worked to keep people back. In exchange, Israel would not fire on people who remained far from the frontier .
Israel did not confirm that a deal had been reached but less live fire was heard than at previous rallies.
Israel’s military estimated that 40,000 demonstrators had turned up at several points along the border, adding that they threw rocks and in some cases “explosive devices” towards the fence.

GMK Photo : Mariam Riyad Dagga

The first fatality of the day, Muhammad Sa’ad, 20, was hit in the head by shrapnel caused by Israeli fire before dawn at an overnight protests before the main demonstration, Gaza’s health ministry said.

Israeli authorities did not immediately confirm or deny the deaths reported by Gaza officials.
The UN had urged Israel and Hamas to avoid a violent escalation on Saturday.

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