A four-year-old Palestinian boy has died after being injured during clashes between the Israeli army and protesters along the Gaza border, the health ministry in Gaza said, making him the youngest victim of scores killed since weekly protests began in March.
"Ahmed Abu Abed, aged four years and eight months, died as a result of the wounds he received last Friday east of Khan Younis," health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra said in a statement.
In the hospital where the boy died, 38 year-old Bassem told AFP news agency he was the child's uncle.
He said Abu Abed was injured by shrapnel when his father was shot during regular Friday protests along the border.
The Health Ministry statement did not provide further details on how the child was injured but a senior ministry official told the Israeli media that he was hit by bullet shrapnel in the face, chest and stomach. It remains unclear if the bullet directly hit him or if it ricocheted and then struck him.
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It was not clear why the child had been taken to the border protests and there was no independent confirmation of the circumstances.
The Israeli army did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Palestinians have been protesting along the Gaza border at least weekly since March against Israel's crippling siege of the coastal enclave. They have called for a return to the lands they were removed from at the birth of Israel in 1948.
Israel has said it will shoot anyone who approaches the shared border fence, saying it fears incursions into its territory. But many of the protesters say they are unarmed and expressing their discontent about Israeli policy.
At least 235 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since, the majority by gunfire in border clashes but others in air strikes and by tank fire.
Two Israelis have been killed in the same time.