Monday, 27 May, 2019

2 more Palestinian protesters killed in Gaza

2 more Palestinian protesters killed in Gaza 2 more Palestinian protesters killed in Gaza
Deanna Wagner | 21 April, 2018, 03:59

Israel's use of live fire has drawn global criticism but the Israeli government says it is protecting its borders and takes such action when protesters come too close to the border fence.

Friday marked the fourth weekend in succession that thousands of Palestinians have demonstrated at the border, in mass protests encouraged by the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers.

Stay away from fence and do not attempt to damage it, "says one of leaflets launched by Israeli aircraft first thing in morning, according to Reuters". It warned on February 25 that starvation could hit Gaza within weeks.

Israel's culture minister, Miri Regev, suggested the actor was supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to isolate Israel economically over its treatment of Palestinians.

Despite widespread outcry from worldwide rights groups who have condemned Israel's excessive use of forces against the civilian protesters, Israeli has maintained its open-fire rules for the Gaza border.

Israel has ruled out the demand, arguing that the return of Palestinians to what is now Israel would outnumber its Jewish majority. The demonstrations, launched on 30 March by various Palestinian civil and political organizations in occupied territories, claim right to return from Palestinian refugees as well as end of Israeli blockade on area. Israel refuses the right to return.

The two Palestinian men who died on Friday were aged 24 and 25, Gaza's health ministry said.

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Israeli soldiers are positioned on the other side of the border fence, including snipers taking cover behind earthen berms, and none have been hurt.

The number of protesters on Friday was lower than the previous three weeks, but still in the thousands. A total of nine Palestinians were shot.

The Israeli army posted photographs of the kite in the air and on the ground inside Israel. "South Africa used this method [against apartheid], and they emerged victorious, and I think we will be no exception".

Thirty-four people have been killed and over 4,500 wounded-many by live fire-since the protests began, according to Palestinian authorities.

As AFP watched, three young men carried one kite dozens of metres towards the border before stopping to set the bottle alight. Stones had been thrown at border guards and the Israeli troops fired on the demonstrators.

The rising Palestinian casualty toll signaled that Israel's military is sticking to its open and indiscriminate fire rules despite global criticism of the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.