Israeli forces have killed 82 Palestinians including women and children since the beginning of 2019, according to a local committee.
Since January, 25 Palestinians were martyred in the West Bank and 57 in the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip, the Committee for Families of Martyrs in the Gaza Strip said in a statement.
The martyrs included nine women, two of them were pregnant, and 17 children. Since March of last year, Gazans have held weekly rallies along the buffer zone to demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel's 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities. Since the rallies began more than one year ago, scores of protesters have been killed, and thousands more injured, by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone. Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many vital commodities, including food, fuel and medicine. In the long-embargoed enclave, the humanitarian situation has gotten worse each day. Israel's long-lasting blockade of the Gaza Strip has created chronic shortages in Palestinian health facilities. The humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is deteriorating further as hospitals struggle to cope with high casualties since protests on the Gaza-Israel border began on March 30.
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