Palestinian boy dies of wounds week after Israeli gunfire at Gaza blockade protest
A 12-year-old Palestinian child died on Saturday, one week after being shot by Israeli fire during a demonstration at besieged Gaza's border with Israel, according to Gaza health officials.
Hassan Abu Al-Neil was shot in the head on 21 August during a large-scale protest organised by Hamas against an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza’s borders and Israel’s decision to halt Qatari aid funds.
The protest turned into a deadly clash, with a Palestinian man, later identified as a member of Hamas’ military wing, dying from his wounds on Wednesday. Abu Al-Niel died from his injuries three days later.
“Tragically this Palestinian boy, who was shot at the Gaza security fence last week, has died. One child killed is one too many. Children should always be protected,” UNICEF Palestine wrote on Twitter.
More than 40 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire during last Saturday’s demonstration. Around 20 of them were children, according to UNICEF.
An Israeli soldier remains in critical condition after being shot in the head by protestors at the clashes.
Four days later, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Gaza-Israeli border again to call for an end to the blockade. Tear gas was used on the crowd and at least nine people were wounded.
After Wednesday’s protest, Israel said it was easing some of the commercial restrictions on Gaza, allowing vehicles, goods and equipment for rebuilding projects to enter the Palestinian enclave.
Egypt, which had closed its border crossing with Gaza to put pressure on Hamas, also partially reopened the crossing to allow a light flow of traffic to enter Gaza from Egypt.
The Israeli government reached an agreement with Qatar on 19 August, allowing the Gulf country to resume aid payments to families in the Gaza Strip.
Israel stopped the payments after its deadly assault on Gaza in May, which resulted in the deaths of 256 Palestinians, including dozens of children.
It said the move was necessary to ensure Hamas did not benefit from cash injections.
Israel and Egypt have operated a blockade at Gaza’s borders since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, which has severely impacted the local economy and Palestinian livelihoods.