World

Clashes erupt on Israel-Gaza border on third Friday of protests

Clashes erupt on Israel-Gaza border on third Friday of protests

There were so far fewer protesters on Friday than in the two previous demonstrations, which saw tens of thousands gather near the border with Israel at five locations.

The Israeli military said demonstrators also hurled an explosive device and several firebombs near the fence.

FILE COPY Israeli soldiers hold a position during clashes with Palestinian protestors.

At a protest camp there, a large Israeli flag was placed on the ground for demonstrators to walk on.

The largest crowds were expected in the afternoon after the main weekly Muslim prayers.

The rallies began on March 30, when tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered at different points along the border to demand that they be allowed to return to their homes in historical Palestine. The previous week there were an estimated 30,000 protesters.

Since late March, 27 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by army fire during such rallies.

Israeli soldiers have been shooting teargas and live bullets from throughout the boundary fencing. Gaza's health system has been buckling under years of shortages of essential medicines and equipment caused by the blockade and Hamas' power struggle with the rival Palestinian National Authority, doctors say.

Nonetheless Palestinians say protesters are being shot whereas posing no menace to troopers, and UN Secretary-Widespread Antonio Guterres and the European Union have known as for an neutral investigation.

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The Israeli rights group B'Tselem said on Friday that open-fire policy must not be dictated by worst case scenarios, such as a feared mass breach of the border.

Israel claims that what was initially deemed a peaceful protest has been hijacked by Hamas, the Islamic militant group that presides over the Strip.

Why has Abbas gone silent on Gaza protests? According to AFP, the protests are expect to continue until mid-May, when US President Donald Trump plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem, a move that has deeply angered the Palestinians.

He also warns with the protest song, "Israel thought if they kill us, they would end our existence.We will return, even if it takes us decades, we will return".

The march is calling for the right of return - meaning Palestinian refugees being allowed to go back to the land they fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

Raed Jadallah belonged to an exclusive club - a small band of surfers who escaped the claustrophobia of blockaded Gaza by riding the waves of the Mediterranean.

It has pledged to stop assaults, harm to the fence and infiltration bids, and says there have been makes an try the least bit three.

In a related development, hundreds of Palestinians turned out for the funeral of Abdullah Mohamed al-Shehri, a 28-year-old Palestinian who was martyred Thursday after having been struck by cross-border Israeli gunfire.

Tensions have flared since the beginning of the protests. Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry said one Gazan was killed and another seriously wounded in the strike.


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