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Shelling kills Palestinians in Gaza under marginal stresses



  Palestinians hold a groom who renounces a Palestinian flag near the Israeli border

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EPA

Caption

The border was already tense before planned Palestinian protests

Palestinian farmer killed and second man injured by Israeli artillery fire, Palestinian health officials say.

The strike took place on Friday near the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, a spokesman said. [1

9659007] The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the report.

But Israeli media said the army shot at two people who "had suspicious activities on the ground" near a security fence.

Witnesses say the dead and injured are BBC-Gaza producer Rushdi Abualouf, who was hit by a tank-fire while collecting parsley in a field

The border region is just hours before the start of a planned fire Palestinian Palestinian protests over the Israeli border in a state of heightened tension for six weeks

Hamas, the militant group that dominates the Gaza Strip, has accused Israel of intimidating the Palestinians by killing the peasants and asking them not to participate in the protests.

Rising Tensions

By Seb astian Usher, Editor of the Middle East, BBC World Service

At five locations on the edge of the border zone near the border, tents were erected by Palestinians. It is a sign that the protest, called the Great March of Return, is in the long run.

Palestinian organizers – most notably Hamas – have called tens of thousands of people to participate in the first protest, which falls on what the Palestinians call the Diet, in memory of the killing of six unarmed protesters in 1976.

Israel is wary as tensions on the Gaza border have risen again. The military has deployed more than 100 snipers, and the State Department has made it clear that it does not believe Hamas intends to keep the protest peaceful.

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Reuters

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Israeli soldiers on their side of the border with the northern Gaza Strip

All of this is taking place in the shadow of the upcoming inauguration of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, due to take place in May – a development that may fuel the protest.


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