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Gaza ministry says Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian on border

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Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager near the border with the Gaza Strip on Friday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.

Fahd al-Astal, 16, died after being shot in the stomach east of Khan Yunis in the south of the enclave, and four other Palestinians were wounded, the ministry said.

Weekly border protests along the Israeli frontier were officially cancelled on Friday.

But residents said a small number of mostly young Palestinians still approached the border fence.

"We are looking into information about the death of a Palestinian," an Israeli army spokesman told AFP.

"In recent hours, dozens of protesters assembled close to the security barrier in the Gaza Strip," the spokesman said.

"Several attempts to approach the barrier and sabotage it were made and several explosive devices were thrown at the barrier. Israeli forces used riot dispersal methods and live ammunition," he added.

At least 348 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since weekly protests began in March 2018, more than half of them during demonstrations.

Others have been killed in air strikes or by tank fire.

The often violent protests are demanding that Israel ease its blockade of the Strip and that Palestinians be allowed to return to their ancestral homes now inside Israel.

Israel accuses the coastal enclave's Islamist rulers Hamas of orchestrating the protests and using them as cover to carry out attacks.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

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