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2 Palestinians, including teenager, killed in Gaza protest

October 5, 2018
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An Israeli tank is seen near the in Israel and Gaza border, Israel, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. The Israeli military said Thursday it was bolstering its forces along the Gaza border ahead of another expected explosive Hamas-orchestrated protest. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops killed two Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, at a protest near the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Gaza’s Health Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry added that 46 others were wounded by Israeli gunfire.

Thousands of Palestinians flocked to the frontier, continuing near-weekly protests that the territory’s Hamas rulers have has staged since March.

The Israeli military said the protesters burnt tires at several locations along the fence and threw explosives at the troops, prompting a response with “riot dispersal means and live fire.”

An aircraft also carried out two airstrikes in northern Gaza, the military said.

Israeli troops have killed at least 145 Palestinians since protests began in late March, and a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier in August.

Hamas wants an end to a decade-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza that has been in effect since the Islamic militant group assumed control of the territory in 2007.

Earlier Friday, Hamas’ leader told an Israeli newspaper that another war in the Gaza Strip is “definitely not in our interest.”

Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth published a rare interview with Yahya Sinwar on Friday in which he viewed a cease-fire with Israel as entailing “complete calm” and an end to the blockade of Gaza. He said “through war we don’t achieve anything.”

The interview ran as Egyptian-mediated efforts to secure a cease-fire in Gaza have stalled.

Hamas later issued a statement saying the Italian reporter conducting the interview misrepresented herself and didn’t say she worked for Yedioth Ahronoth.

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