Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in Gaza

A Palestinian man was killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the border area between the Gaza Strip and Israel, authorities said.

The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement that Ahmad Salleh, 26, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Thursday night, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Ministry said that 15 Palestinians, including five children, were injured by Israeli soldiers, adding that five of them were shot by live ammunition and 10 others suffered suffocation after inhaling tear gas.

On Thursday night, witnesses said that dozens of protesters, members of "the night disturbance unit" gathered along the border area between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel for the sixth consecutive day.

Members of the unit have been demonstrating every night near the border with Israel to protest the continuation of an Israeli blockade that has been imposed on the impoverished coastal enclave for more than 14 years.

The unit comprises members and supporters of several Palestinian factions, including the Hamas which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007 after it ousted the security forces of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The protesters usually burn tires, detonate homemade percussion grenades and clash with the Israeli soldiers, who usually fire shots to disperse them.

The violent protests came a day after Israel reopened the only commercial crossing of Kerem Shalom and expanded the fishing area off the Gaza coast to 15 nautical miles.

The Israeli media earlier reported that Israel also pumped potable water, allowed the entry of more construction materials into Gaza, and increased the number of permits for Gaza merchants to enter Israel from 2,000 to 7,000.

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