Two Palestinian men killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza

21 April, 2018, 04:24 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Khalil Hamra

Protests have continued to take place on the Gaza border today as thousands of Palestinians demonstrate for the fourth week as part of the "Great March of Return", leaving at least two dead and dozens injured. The Gaza Health Ministry said 729 Palestinians were wounded Friday-more than 150 of them by live fire.

Israel has pledged to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks, and alleges there have been attempts at all three.

The government of Gaza, led by the group Hamas, which the USA and Israel consider a terrorist group, helped construct some barriers along the border this week to protect protesters. Israeli servicemen, trying to prevent violent clashes, have been warning the demonstrators over loudspeakers not to approach the border fence.

Before start of fourth Friday of Mobilizations, Israeli army launched leaflets - for first time since protests began - in strip to warn population not to approach border fence, where Israeli forces maintain a Wide deployment in face of mobilizations. The Israeli army said it was looking into the incident.

"I call on the United Nations representatives to condemn Hamas for encouraging violence, continuing to strive to create instability and the despicable exploitation of women and children by placing them in harm's way", Danon said.

Hamas has acknowledged that several of those killed in recent weeks were its members, and Israel has identified other fatalities as members of terrorist groups. "Despite the brutal repression of an Israeli military whose snipers have executed high orders to shoot protesters, leaving many unarmed Palestinians dead each week, the Palestinian protesters have succeeded in raising the profile of their plight", Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a Washington, D.C. -based coalition of organizations that oppose Israel's policies toward Palestinians, told Newsweek.

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Two weeks ago, photographer Yaser Murtaja died after being shot in the stomach despite wearing a blue flak jacket marked with the word "press".

According to Palestinian officials, Israeli soldiers have killed 35 people and injured hundreds more, many by live fire, since the beginning of the weekly demonstrations.

Israel's Intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said on Friday that targeted killings of Hamas leadership will be renewed if Islamic Jihad follows through on Thursday's threats to kill Israeli soldiers and generals.

Israel's Foreign Ministry tweeted a photograph of one kite daubed with a swastika flying through the sky trailing flames. The number of Palestinians participating in Friday's protest was significantly smaller than the 10,000 at last Friday's demonstration. Such a demand would mean the end of Israel as a majority Jewish state.

More than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel.

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