Apr 23, 4:17 AM EDT

Gaza's Health Ministry: 2 Palestinian youths die of wounds sustained in Israeli fire during border protests


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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The Health Ministry in Gaza says two Palestinian youths have died of wounds they sustained in Israeli fire during protests near the Israel-Gaza border.

Monday's deaths raise to 34 the numbers of Palestinians killed in mass protests along the border since March 30.

The two were identified as an 18-year-old who was shot in the head earlier this month and a 20-year-old son of a senior Hamas commander killed in clashes with more radical extremists in 2009.

The Islamic militant group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and has organized the protests.

The demonstrations are set to climax with a massive march to the border on May 15, when Palestinians mark the "nakba," or catastrophe, of their uprooting during the war over Israel's creation in 1948.

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