Global court warns Israel may be charged for Gaza deaths

Apr 09, 2018, 00:52

Israeli troops shot dead seven Palestinian protesters and wounded at least 200 along the Israel-Gaza border Friday, Gaza medical officials said, raising the death toll to 27 in the weeklong disturbances.

More than 1,000 people suffered a range of injuries on Friday, including those hit by live fire and those overcome by tear gas, the Gaza health ministry said.

Violence spiked again on Friday, when clashes erupted as thousands protested along the border, and nine Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed.

The military said protesters on Friday hurled several explosive devices and firebombs, using the thick plumes of smoke from burning tires as a cover, and that several attempts to cross the fence were thwarted.

Witnesses said Murtaja was over 100 meters (yards) from the border, wearing a flak jacket marked "press" and holding his camera when he was shot in an exposed area just below the armpit.

"(Israeli Defense Forces) troops are operating in accordance with clear rules of engagement that are tailored to this scenario.

Palestine solidarity and anti-Israeli protest rallies were also waged in major Canadian city of Vancouver, where hundreds of protesters marched for hours across the city center, waving signs and shouting slogans condemning Israeli atrocities against Palestinian protesters and calling for a free Palestine.

Yaser Murtaja was shot in the abdomen near the border with Israel while covering demonstrations by Palestinian refugees.

They said the demonstrators, including two boys aged 16 and 17, were killed at protest sites along the frontier during a round of daily demonstrations that has been dubbed "The Great March of Return".

Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians in Gaza, including 27 during protests, since 30 March - which Palestinians mark annually as Land Day.

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Hamas has meanwhile offered compensation of $3,000 to the families of protesters killed and $500 for those seriously injured, drawing outrage from Israel.

Israel said around 20,000 people took part in the protests and that they were seeking to breach the border.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said by blocking the resolution, the U.S.is complicit in Israel's attacks against unarmed civilians in Gaza.

The Israeli army has launched an investigation into the incident, said the army in a statement.

An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying that Cairo would ensure the regular opening of the Rafah border crossing in exchange for a halt to the Gaza demonstrations.

But Palestinians say unarmed protesters were shot while posing no threat.

Yariv Oppenheimer, a member of Peace Now, a non-government organisation in Israel, lamented the deaths and urged the Israeli army to exercise restraint.

The protests are planned to last six weeks up until Nakhba Day, the anniversary of Israel's establishment that displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Israeli troops on the other side of the fence responded with live fire, tear gas, rubber coated steel pellets and water cannons.

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