Fierce Clashes Continue At Gaza-Israel Border Fence

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Israel/OPT: Israeli forces must end the use of excessive force in response to “Great March of Return” protests
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14 April, 2018

The AFP has reported one man, 36-year-old Sumaya Abu Awad, saying "I have no fear of dying because there is no life in Gaza".

Some in the Gaza crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device, the Israeli military said.

"We strongly condemn Israel's deliberate and violent attacks against unarmed Palestinian protestors", she said. On Thursday a group of former Israeli soldiers, members of the sniper teams, wrote in an open letter "we are filled with shame and sorrow..."

According to the Gaza Strip's Health Ministry, 112 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli army fire or treated for tear gas inhalation.

On Friday, most of the demonstrators assembled in five tent camps located several hundred meters (yards) from the border fence. It has said that soldiers fire live bullets as a last resort, in a "precise and measured manner". The number of injuries has exceeded 4,000, according to the MoH.

An Israeli military spokesman said troops were confronted by rioters and responded with "riot dispersal means while also firing in accordance with the rules of engagement".

Most were injured east of Gaza City, but two were hurt in clashes near Al-Bureij in central Gaza. Smaller groups moved closer to the fence, burning Israeli flags, throwing stones and torching tires.

Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and live rounds. Israel says snipers only target the main "instigators".

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This is the third consecutive Friday in which Palestinians protest near the fence as part of the Great March of Return.

Denouncing Israel's "horrifying use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters", Mughrabi also noted that "under worldwide law, lethal force can only be used when unavoidable to protect against imminent threats to life".

Like most of the 2 million Palestinians packed into the tiny, impoverished Gaza Strip, Ahmed is a descendant of refugees from Jaffa, a coastal town in Israel just south of Tel Aviv.

Dozens of Israeli flags were burned, as were photos of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seen by protesters as cooperating with Israel.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded after thousands staged a mass protest along Gaza's sealed border with Israel on Friday.

The marches are organised by Gaza's Islamic militant group Hamas, but turnout is also being driven by desperation among the territory's two million residents.

They will culminate on 15 May, the 70th annual commemoration of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of their people in the war which followed Israel's creation in 1948.

In two weeks, 34 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including 27 during protests.


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