Abril 22, 2018

Palestinian journalist dies as Israel border clash toll rises to nine

07 Abril 2018, 11:41 | Crisanna Felipe

Gazans return to border in defiance of Israeli guns

7 killed, hundreds wounded as Palestinians clash with troops in Gaza

A Palestinian journalist was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border, the Washington Post reported.

Murtaja, who worked for the Gaza-based Ain Media agency, was with the vanguard of protesters, witnesses said, wearing a blue vest marked "press".

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 1070 Palestinian protesters have been wounded, 293 of whom by Israeli military gunfire.

"The rioters are rolling burning tyres and hurling firebombs and rocks on the safety fence and at (Israeli) troops, who're responding with riot dispersal means and firing in the direction of essential instigators".

The Israeli army said that it did not intentionally target Murtaja and that it is investigating the shooting, according to the Times of Israel.

The Israeli military has said that it terminated only at "instigators" concerned in attacks.

In the Gaza Strip, where 1.3 million of the territory's two million inhabitants are refugees, protest organisers have called for six weeks of demonstrations called the "Great March of Return" along the border of the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, starting on Land Day and culminating on 15 May for Nakba Day, marking the displacement of Palestinians by Israel in 1948.

The turnout has apparently been driven by the organizational prowess of Hamas as well as the growing desperation of Gaza residents who live in what has been described as the world's largest open-air prison. "Palestinian factions must engage seriously to allow the Palestinian Authority to resume its full responsibilities in Gaza, which is crucial for improving the situation of the people in Gaza", the European Union stated.

But the US, Israel's closest ally, has blocked a UN Security Council statement supporting the rights of Palestinians to protest peacefully.

Israeli soldiers open fire, killing 19 Palestinians in what is the deadliest single day in the territory since 2014.

It says Hamas is exploiting the mass marches as a cover for attacking the border fence, and has vowed to prevent a breach at all costs.

Hamas called for a Third Intifada back in December after Trump recognized the entirety of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but apart from a symbolic meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the highly publicized arrest of Ahed Tamimi, there wasn't much to show for this latest rebellion until now.

Israel said there were around 20,000 protesters and that they were seeking to breach the border.

Thousands of Gazans gather to bury their dead on March 31 while just a few hundred protesters return to several areas near the border to continue the demonstration. "Whatever we use, we are always targeted by Israeli forces".

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday accused Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, of "sending terrorists under the guise of civilians to harm our sovereignty".

Israel has faced widespread worldwide condemnation for its brutal police of shooting into protesters on the Gaza border, with the United Nations and NGOs all speaking out against Tel Aviv's "live fire" tactics.

At least three people were killed and about 20 reported injured, some critically, after a man drove a small truck into a group of people outside a restaurant in Munster, Germany, on Saturday.

More than 760,000 Palestinians - now estimated to number almost five million with their descendants - were driven out of their homes on May 14, 1948.

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