2 Palestinians dead in Gaza amid conflicting reports of cease-fire

Clashes along the Gaza border left two Palestinians, including a volunteer paramedic, dead Friday amid amid reports Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement, Palestinian health officials said.

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Medic Abdullah Qatati, who received a gunshot wound to the head, and 55-year-old Ali Saeed Aloul, died and about 240 other protesters sustained injuries, the Gaza Ministry of Health said.

Palestinian news agency WAFA reported Israeli snipers opened fire on the protesters to disperse them. The demonstrators were taking part in the 20th consecutive week of protests at locations along the border. The demonstrations, named the Great March of Return, call for the return of refugees to their homes and lands from which they were displaced in 1948.

The Israeli military said Palestinians threw a grenade at Israel Defense Forces in northern Gaza, Haaretz reported.

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The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 159 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began March 30.

Friday’s clashes came one day after reports that Israel reached a cease-fire agreement with Hamas. Israeli sources denied such a truce had been reached, Ynet News reported, but a senior Hamas official said the agreement would go into effect at midnight.

ByDanielle Haynes