Two Palestinians succumbed Monday to wounds sustained during Friday's protests along the Gaza border fence, reports the Gaza Health Ministry. Both died as a result of gunshot wounds, bringing the overall death toll of Palestinians from Israeli army fire to 39.
During the early morning hours, 20-year old Abdallah Shamali died from sustaining a severe gunshot wound to the stomach. A few hours later, Tahrir Sayid Wahaba, 18, who was shot in the head, also died. Both were residents of Rafiah.
Their deaths raise the Palestinian death toll of Friday's protest to six, and 39 total since protests began a month ago.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson said hospitals are still teeming with hundreds of wounded, 138 of which are in critical condition.
On Sunday, it was reported Palestinian and foreign doctors claim that the live-fire wounds suffered by more than 1,700 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the past month have been unusually severe.
Since the series of demonstrations known as the March of Return began on March 30, Israeli soldiers have killed 37 Palestinians and wounded about 5,000, of whom 36 percent were wounded by live bullets.
Israel faced backlash and condemnation from Europe following Friday's protest, as news came of the death of 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub from a gunshot wound to the head. United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov condemned the teenager's killing, which Gaza's Health Ministry said was a result of Israeli live fire. Mladenov described the incident as outrageous and said "the killing of a child" in Gaza "fuels anger and breeds more killing."
The following day, The EU joined criticism of Israel, admonishing the killing of four Palestinians during Friday's protests and calling for a "full investigation" into the circumstances surrounding Ayoub's death.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that "there is total support for Israeli soldiers and every incident is investigated."
According to Lieberman, "We've passed the fourth week (of protests), we draw conclusions after every week. I was there myself and saw how the soldiers operate. The way our soldiers function inspires respect." On Friday, U.S. President Trump's envoy to the Middle East peace negotiations Jason Greenblatt said Israel initiated a probe into Ayoub's death.
Lieberman claimed Hamas "holds prisoners and doesn't allow anyone to see them, the European Union is also not shocked by Hamas heads hiding behind women and children, sending them as human shields, and then is later surprised when there are casualties."
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