KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian Health Ministry says a Palestinian man has been killed by Israeli artillery fire in the Gaza Strip.

A ministry statement says the 27-year-old was killed by a tank shell near the border fence separating Gaza and Israel and that another man was injured by shrapnel.

The Israeli military says it is looking into the report.

Friday’s incident comes hours before Palestinians are to start mass sit-ins at five encampments near the border that are to last six weeks and culminate with a march to the border. A jittery Israel has sent reinforcements to the border.

The protest is seen as a new attempt by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to break a crippling Israeli-Egyptian Gaza border blockade that has made it increasingly difficult for the Islamic militants to govern.

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