Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in fourth week of protests

21 April 2018, 04:24 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Ruins in Gaza. Ruins in Gaza

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Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians and wounded dozens others in renewed unrest on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday as a series of mass protests entered fourth week.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Friday that at least 729 people protesting near the border with Israel were wounded by Israeli gunfire, needed treatment for tear gas inhalation or suffered other injuries.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that 25-year-old Ahmad Nabil Abu Aqel succumbed to wounds sustained during protests in eastern Jabaliya, when Israeli soldiers shot him in the head.

"Thanks to the IDF's activity, week by week there is a drop in the number of participants in the riots", Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said as he visited Kibbutz Sa'ad on the Gaza border during the protests Friday. The Hamas terror organization is taking advantage of you in order to carry out terror attacks. Israeli authorities have permitted soldiers to shoot at anyone who approaches the Gaza side of the fence, despite widespread condemnation from NGOs and the United Nations over the practice.

Early on Friday Israeli planes scattered leaflets along the border warning Palestinians not to approach the border fence as Israeli troops braced for fresh clashes.

In response, a retired former Israeli army spokesman, Peter Lerner, tweeted suggestions to Mladenov, including: "Please go to Gaza, engage Hamas and get them to stop sending people to the fence".

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In other areas of friction along the demarcation line, eyewitnesses on the scene said young Palestinians launched kites with molotov cocktails attached, in an effort to start fires in Israeli territory, as in recent days.

"Stay away from the fence and do not attempt to harm it; avoid using weapons and committing violent acts against Israeli security forces and Israeli citizens", the leaflets added. Israel responded with air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza.

These brought the number of fatalities to 39 from four weeks of border demonstrations called the "Great March of Return" by Palestinians.

Hundreds were clashing with Israeli forces, an AFP correspondent said. In the two weeks before, there were an estimated 20,000 and 30,000 protesters, respectively.

Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967, but the Tel Aviv regime has defied that piece of worldwide law ever since.

Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and parts of Syria's Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel's position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.



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