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Palestinians: Mysterious blast in Gaza kills 4

Palestinians: Mysterious blast in Gaza kills 4

At least 36 Palestinians have been killed and thousands others injured since a massive Palestinian protest was launched to mark the Palestinian Land Day along the border between Gaza and Israel.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that medical teams are still searching the area. According to initial reports, the four were said to be killed by Israeli army fire; the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the bodies were taken to a hospital in the city. The Israeli military said it was unaware of any activity in the area of the blast.

Islamic Jihad's armed wing said four of its fighters had been killed during "preparations", without giving further details.

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Islamic Jihad, which is supported by Iran, has fought alongside Hamas against Israel in multiple wars, most recently in 2014.

Protests in the Gaza Strip began on March 30 when Palestinians began demanding the right to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.

A 28-year-old Palestinian man died on Friday evening after succumbing to wounds sustained earlier in the day, when he was shot in the stomach by Israeli forces during the ongoing "Great March of Return" across the eastern border of the Gaza Strip. Israel has accused Hamas and other militant groups of using the protests as a cover for attacks and says its snipers have only targeted "main instigators". The rallies are part of a six-week demonstration that will culminate on May 15.