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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Death toll of Palestinians killed in Friday Israeli gunfire at four

Reuters , Saturday 9 Jun 2018
Gaza
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Haytham Al-Jamal, 15, who was killed by Israeli troops. (Reuters photo)
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Israeli occupation forces killed four Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others on Friday with live fire and tear gas used against protesters at the Gaza border, medics said.

The protests tapered off around sunset when many demonstrators left border camps for the evening meal that breaks their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Palestinians killed on Friday were three adult men and a 15-year-old boy, Gaza medics said. Of 620 people wounded, 120 were from live fire, they said.

Friday's deaths bring the total number of Palestinians killed at the Gaza border to 124 since protests there began on March 30, including 60 people killed in a single day last month, when the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem after recognising the city as the Israeli capital.

Palestinians also want the capital of a state there, and most countries say the city's status should be resolved in future peace talks.

Israel's deadly tactics in confronting the protests have drawn international condemnation.

Palestinians say the protests are a popular outpouring of rage against Israel by people demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from on Israel's founding 70 years ago.

Israel says the demonstrations are organised by the Islamist group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip. 

The Palestinian United Nations envoy condemned the Friday killings and said that representatives of the Arab Group and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation had asked the president of the U.N. General Assembly to resume an emergency session to discuss a resolution aimed at protecting Palestinian civilians.

The General Assembly meeting was called for 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Wednesday.

The resolution, Ambassador Riyad Mansour said, would be similar to a Kuwaiti-drafted resolution that last week received enough support to pass a vote in the Security Council but was vetoed by the United States.

Mansour said the U.S. veto triggered the request and that Friday’s violence "adds to our argument and to the urgency of providing international protection" to Palestinian civilians.

Among those wounded on Friday were an Agence France-Presse photographer and a 23-year-old man who was on life support after a tear gas canister penetrated his face, medical officials said.

The Israeli army said that it had repelled around 10,000 Palestinians who converged on five points of the border.

Organisers in Gaza said that the protests will continue in the coming days and weeks. They had tagged this Friday's demonstrations as the “Friday of Jerusalem” to commemorate the 1967 war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem, with the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Around 2 million people live in Gaza, most of them the stateless descendants of refugees from what is now Israel.

Israel besieged Gaza strip since 2007, citing security reasons, which has caused an economic crisis and collapse in living standards there. Israel launched three wars 2008, 2012 and 2014, against the strip resulted more than 5000 people killed.

On Thursday Israel dropped leaflets in Gaza urging Palestinians not to take part in protests or try to breach the fence on Friday, "and not to allow Hamas to use you for its narrow factional interests, which Iran is inspiring".

At one location on Friday, at least two Palestinians fired guns at an army post and others threw grenades or used helium balloons and kites to fly flammable materials or explosive devices over the border, the occupation army said.

There have been no Israeli casualties from the more than two months of confrontations.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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