Gaza man shot dead in protest near border with Israel: Palestinians

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GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot and killed a 26-year-old Palestinian during a rock-throwing protest near the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, a Palestinian health official said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops had fired shots to disperse Palestinians trying to breach the Gaza border fence and authorities were investigating reports that one person had been killed.

The Gaza health officials said Mohammad Abu Seada was killed by Israeli gunfire and that two others were wounded. Dozens of protesters hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers every Friday along the border with Gaza.

At least 227 Palestinians have been killed in violence in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip since October 2015. Israel says 154 of them were assailants. Others died during clashes and protests.

Palestinians, many of them acting alone and with rudimentary weapons, have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans.

Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion in Israeli-occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state.

Palestinians have accused Israeli police and soldiers of using excessive force in many cases, saying the assailants could have been stopped or detained without being shot and killed. Israel has opened investigations into several incidents.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Writing by Ori Lewis