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Islamic Jihad Says Accidental Blast Claimed Four of its Own


File - Masked Islamic Jihad members.

The Islamic Jihad militant group says four of its members were killed Saturday in an accidental blast in Gaza near the Israeli border.

An explosion apparently struck a three-wheeled vehicle near a Palestinian protest camp. Islamic Jihad said the four were killed "during preparations" without elaborating.

On Friday the Gaza Health Ministry said one Palestinian was killed and more than 900 others were injured Friday by Israeli troops, who used gunfire and tear gas to repel numerous attempts by Palestinians to cross the border fence separating the Palestinian-governed Gaza Strip from Israel.

The Friday violence erupted after thousands of Palestinians staged a protest along the border, the third weekly protest scheduled through mid-May. The protests already have resulted in dozens killed and thousands injured.

The protesters are demanding an end to a decade-old blockade and a return of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel, where their ancestors lived before being forced to flee after the establishment of Israel in 1948. Israel repeatedly has ruled out any right of their return over concerns Israel would lose its Jewish majority.

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