Four Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces near Gaza fence
At least four Palestinian protesters have been shot dead by Israeli forces targeting participants in protests at the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the Occupied Palestinian territories.
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Ma'an news agency said the Palestinians lost their lives in clashes with the Israeli army east of the Gaza city of Deir al-Balah early on Saturday.
The Israeli military claimed that the Palestinian victims had been "armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers & grenades—one of which was thrown."
One of the Palestinian men, it added, had crossed the Gaza fence and fired at Israeli troops.
It also noted that Israeli lookout troops had already spotted the Palestinians approaching the Gaza fence and alerted soldiers stationed nearby.
Israeli troops regularly opens fatal fire on Palestinians, accusing them of seeking to attack them. Human rights groups have repeatedly slammed the Tel Aviv regime for its shoot-to-kill policy.
Gaza has been under a crippling land, air and sea blockade by Israel since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.
The coastal enclave has also witnessed deadly tensions since March 30, 2018 which marked the start of the Great March of Return protests, with participants demanding the right to return for the Palestinians driven out of their homeland.
Israel carries out regular attacks on Gaza under the pretext of hitting positions belonging to the Hamas resistance movement
Also on Friday, Israeli aircraft targeted an alleged Hamas outpost near near Deir el-Balah in central Gaza.