Israeli policeman dies after Gaza clash

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An Israeli border police officer succumbed to wounds following an exchange of gunfire with Palestinians last week at the Gaza border.

He died in hospital, the border police said on Monday.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, referring to the officer by his first name, said, "Barel was a fighter in his life and in his death."

A total of 41 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes last weekend, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Two died of their injuries last week, a 12-year-old boy and a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

The EU, Israel and the US classify Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

The clashes were the most violent along the border since the end of the weekly Great March of Return protests in 2019. The protests, which began in 2017, ended after Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations mediated an agreement between Israel and Hamas, where Israel agreed to relax its blockade.

In 2007, Israel tightened a blockade of the Gaza, a move now supported by Egypt, with both attributing the step to security.

Some 2 million people live in impoverished coastal strip, according to aid organisations.

In May, Israel and Palestinian militants engaged in an 11-day armed conflict in which 13 people were killed in Israel, according to official figures, and 255 people died in the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry.

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