Palestinian protesters killed after Israeli troops open fire

29 April, 2018, 08:20 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded woman during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel Friday

Dubbed the "Great March of Return", the protest action is to continue until May 15 when, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says, the Gaza demonstrations will be replicated elsewhere along Israel's frontiers.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, at least 41 Palestinian protesters - including five children - have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to Health Ministry figures. Near the Karni crossing, hundreds of Palestinians stormed the border to damage the security fence, successfully destroying part of it.

"In the last hour, over 10,000 Palestinians have participated in the riots & attempts have been made to harm security infrastructure, roll burning tires, hurl rocks and fly kites with flaming objects attached to them", the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said on Twitter late Friday Israel-time.

Hundreds of additional protesters ran to the scene, and Israeli armored vehicles sped to the site and fired barrages of tear gas.

No Israelis have been reported hurt.

The development brings the death toll of Friday's clashes to four.


The Israeli army also claimed that its forces only open fire in self-defence or to stop protesters attempting to breach the barrier separating the coastal enclave from Israel.

A 15-year-old Palestinian youth died on Saturday after being shot the previous day by Israeli troops during protests along the Gaza border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Around 5 p.m., when the protest seemed to be winding down uneventfully, he said, "between 500 and 700 rioters assaulted the fence in a way that we have not seen them assault it before".

The statement did not specify the location of the targets.

The New York Times, citing several witnesses in the area, reports that two Palestinians in the group wielded handguns, firing on Israeli soldiers before turning to flee when the troops retaliated with a hand grenade.

Demonstrations are expected to spike again in the lead up to 14 May, when the United States is expected to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Those protests call for the right of return for refugees to what is now Israeli territory after the country's creation in 1948. The U.N. said in a statement Friday that numerous wounded and killed "appear to have been unarmed or not presenting an imminent threat" to the Israeli security forces, yet more than 1,700 of those injured were hit by live fire. The European Union also called for an investigation into the incident.

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