Two Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza laid to rest

Palestinians in Gaza have been staging demonstrations along the border with Israel for nearly a year calling on Israel to end its blockade of the enclave

The Israeli army fire injured eighteen Palestinians with live rounds, and injured dozens with rubber-coated steel bullets in addition to the effects of teargas inhalation.

In a statement, the ministry said that Hassan Shalabi, 14, and Hamza Ashtiwi, 18, had been "martyred by Israeli forces".

The police said Arafat Arpaya, 29, was arrested in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, but originally comes from the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Israel says it has no choice but to use deadly force at the protests to defend the frontier from militants trying to destroy the barrier and infiltrate. The Israeli army noted that only the "barbed wire" and "brave IDF soldiers" managed to thwart Palestinian infiltration.

A number of improvised explosives, rocks, and grenades were thrown at IDF troops as some Palestinians attempted damaging the border fence. Israeli troops "responded with riot dispersal means and fired according to standard operating procedures", he added.

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Israeli snipers killed two Palestinian protesters, including a 14-year-old child, and wounded 17 others during the 46th Friday protests held as part of the "Great March of Return" in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

While Palestinians have claimed the protests are peaceful, Israel says that Hamas, the Islamist group ruling Gaza, has hijacked the months-long movement in an effort to attack Israeli forces and breach the border fence to commit terrorist acts in Israel.

Palestinians in Gaza have for almost a year gathered at least weekly along the border for often-violent protests, calling on Israel to end its blockade of the enclave.

The West Bank was hit by a bout of unrest in December as tensions eased in the Gaza Strip. but they later eased in the West Bank too.

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