GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian man died Wednesday from a bullet wound suffered during clashes with Israeli forces last week along Gaza’s border fence over the weekend, Palestinian health officials said.
The Hamas militant group identified the man, Osama Dueji, 32, as a member of its armed wing and mourned him as a “heroic martyr.”
Masked Hamas militants joined a funeral procession for Dueji in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp. A photo of him dressed in military fatigues, a green Hamas headband and holding a rifle was released.
Hamas planned another demonstration Wednesday along the border, raising the likelihood of further violence. The Israeli military said it boosted forces in the area ahead of Wednesday’s demonstration.
Dueij, 32, was shot in the leg on Saturday during a violent demonstration on the border. Israeli gunfire wounded 41 Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head, the Hamas-run health ministry said.
An Israeli border policeman who was critically wounded after being shot in the head by a Palestinian gunman remained hospitalized on Wednesday. Video from the scene showed a Palestinian firing a pistol from blank range into an Israeli sniper position through a hole in a concrete barrier.
Israel’s military responded by bombing Hamas weapons sites in the Gaza Strip early Sunday.
Hundreds of Palestinians took part in Saturday’s demonstration organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers against the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the enclave and Israel’s decision to halt Qatari aid funds.
The new Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, initially blocked Qatari aid and the import of reconstruction materials following May’s war with Hamas, the fourth since the militant group seized power in 2007.
But after an agreement with the Gulf Arab country last week, Israel agreed to resume the Qatari aid payments to thousands of families in the Gaza Strip, in an effort to reduce tensions with the Palestinian territory. The payments are expected to arrive in the coming weeks and will be transferred by the United Nations directly to Gaza families, with Israel having oversight on the list of families receiving aid.
At least 254 people were killed during May’s Gaza-Israel war, including 67 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza health ministry. Hamas has acknowledged the deaths of 80 militants. Twelve civilians, including two children, were killed in Israel, along with one soldier.