Israeli flags burned in mass protest on Gaza-Israel border

14 April 2018, 06:29 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Hundreds of Palestinians Injured as Clashes With Israel's Military Resume

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Numerous injuries were the result of live ammunition and tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers, the ministry said.

The Gaza Health Ministry said in an official figure that 34 Palestinians were killed, including two Hamas militants, and more than 2,800 were wounded since the start of the popular rallies.

Officials said more than 400 suffered other injuries, including being hit by rubber-coated steel pellets and being overcome by tear gas.

Most of the demonstrators assembled at five tent camps located several hundred meters from the border fence. At the entrance, organisers had laid a large Israeli flag on the ground for protesters to step on.

Smaller numbers approached the fence, throwing stones and rolling burning tires toward soldiers taking up positions on the other side.

Some 33 Palestinians have been martyred by cross-border gunfire by the Israeli army since March 30, when peaceful rallies began along the Gaza Strip's roughly 45-kilometer eastern border with Israel.

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".

Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the protesters getting across the fence.

The Stream will examine how the Great Return March fits into a lineage of Palestinian protest and what the prospects are for a broad-based, non-affiliated movement over the long term.

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"Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people", he said.

Eyewitness testimonies as well as videos and photographs taken during demonstrations point to evidence that, in some instances, unarmed Palestinian protesters were shot by Israeli snipers while waving the Palestinian flag or running away from the fence. The Israeli military has been on high alert along the Gaza border since March 25th, dispatching reinforcements from infantry, armoured corps and combat intelligence units, alongside special forces, sappers and snipers.

On Friday, hundreds of Jordanians demonstrated in Amman in solidarity with Palestinians.

Conricus told The Associated Press that the army is trying to "minimize" Palestinian casualties, but that open-fire regulations have not changed.

Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's centrist Yesh Atid party, called Hamas a "despicable terror organization" and accused it of exploiting civilians.

Human rights advocates are calling for an arms embargo on Israel because Israeli snipers are shooting unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Their horrifying use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters, and the resultant deaths, must be investigated as possible unlawful killings.

Despite the risks, the Palestinians are refusing to give up.

The five ex-snipers in Friday's statement were identified by name.



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