Three Palestinians were killed after they purportedly tried to cross the border fence separating the Gaza Strip from occupied territories on Sunday, the latest shootings linked to tensions along the border.
The Israeli army said four people “attempted to infiltrate” by breaking through the security fence, according to AFP.
Gaza’s health ministry identified two of the dead as Bahaa Rahman Qudeih, 23, and Mohammed Abu Rayda, 20. A name had not yet been provided for the third person.
The latest deaths raised to 52 the toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since protests and clashes began along the Gaza border on March 30.
Hundreds more have been wounded by gunfire.
Demonstrators are demanding Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to the homes they were expelled from during the 1948 war.
Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands in 1948 and were scattered across refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Palestine’s neighboring countries.
Now, over five million Palestinian refugees are estimated to be still displaced.
Of Gaza’s over 1.8 million residents, more than a million are descended from Palestinians originally expelled from the country in 1948.
Since 2007, Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli blockade. The coastal enclave has also witnessed three bloody Israeli wars over the past decade.