Gazan Shot in Head Dies of Wounds, Palestinian Officials Say

Death of 21-year old brings number of Palestinians killed by Israeli army fire to 128 since start of Gaza border protests

A paramedic carries an injured Palestinian protester during a demonstration along the border between the Gaza strip and Israel on June 8, 2018.

A 21-year-old Palestinian, who was shot in the head by Israeli troops near the Gaza border on Friday, has died of his wounds, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The death of Ahmed Assi brings to 128 the number of Palestinians killed since the weekly Friday protests along the Gaza-Israel border began in March. Assi was shot near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. He was one of five Gazans killed last Friday and over 600 wounded, 117 of them by live fire by the Israeli military, according to the health ministry.

The committee organizing the weekly marches said it plans to continue them, despite the large number of Palestinian casualties during the previous 11 demonstrations. It said the goal is to tell the world that Palestinians continue to insist on their rights, including the right of return.

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution Wednesday night condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and proposing forming an international protection mechanism in Gaza.

The resolution is not expected to lead to action against Israel since any attempt to bring such a decision to the Security Council is expected to be met with a U.S. veto. The resolution passed with 120 countries in favor, eight against, and 45 abstaining. It was put forward in the General Assembly by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians.

Last Friday saw some 10,000 protesters demonstrate at five locations along the fence in the “March of Return.” An Israeli military post was damaged when it was fired upon from Gaza during the protests. In addition, dozens of kites and balloons carrying Molotov cocktails and explosives were flown into Israel, and explosive devices and grenades were thrown at Israeli troops.

As in previous demonstrations in recent weeks, the army deployed snipers along the border with Gaza. It said it had received warnings about possible efforts to target soldiers with gunfire or explosives.