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Updated: Maltese woman shot, injured in Gaza protest

Adds Bianca Zammit's comments -

Bianca Zammit, 28, a Maltese pro-Palestinian activist, is being treated at the Al-Aqsa hospital after being injured during a protest calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza. She was shot in the leg.

The protest was held near the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza, earlier today.

"It was a peaceful protest, they had no reason to shoot us," Ms Zammit said from her hospital bed. She said that similar protests were held in the past and the Israelis usually fired in the air. This time them shot at the protesters.

Ms Zammit said the bullet had gone through a muscle in one of her legs but missed the bone, and she would be able to walk again. (More details in The Sunday Times tomorrow)

The AFP reported that Israeli troops shot and wounded two Palestinians and the Maltese woman.

The three were shot after they entered a 300-metre-deep no-go zone previously declared by Israel on the Gaza side of the frontier.

The incident occurred when some 150 people, including six foreigners, began a demonstration to protest against the ban, which prevents Gaza farmers from using the land.

Bianca Zimmit is a member of the International Solidarity Movement.

The ISM said Zammit was wounded as she filmed the demonstration, east of the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, some 100 metres from the border.

An army spokesman said a "group of Palestinians approached the security fence in a provocative manner."

"Some soldiers spotted them and fired warning shots. Two Palestinians were hit."

The spokesman added that the army considered the area to be a "combat zone" and therefore out of bounds.

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