World News

Palestinian killed, more than 100 wounded in 7th week of Gaza protests

Palestinian killed, more than 100 wounded in 7th week of Gaza protests

Israeli troops killed a Palestinian and hundreds of others were hurt on Friday, Palestinian medical workers said, bringing to 44 the number killed during a six-week protest at the Gaza-Israel border.

Since the Hamas-led marches began in late March, 41 Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli fire, More than 1,800 Palestinians have been shot and wounded.

Thousands of Palestinians gathered at five different points along the border, AFP correspondents at the scene said.

Israeli forces responded with riot dispersal methods and said it was firing in accordance with the rules of engagement.

Witnesses said Israeli soldiers used a drone to down flaming kites that protesters flew over the border in a bid to torch bushes and distract snipers.

The protests come before Monday's opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, and Tuesday's 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital outraged Palestinians and leaders around the world, with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas describing it as "the slap of the century".

The 40-year-old Palestinian was killed in the seventh consecutive week of protests on the border of the coastal enclave. The protests, driven by despair among Gaza's 2 million people, are part of a campaign to break the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas overran Gaza in 2007.

Thousands came to protest along the security fence at the Gaza border today. The Palestinian protesters say they want the right to return to land that they left behind in 1948 when the state of Israel was founded.

Israel says it only opens fire when necessary to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks.

Israel has repeatedly expressed concern over the possibility of a mass breach of the Gaza fence, in which Palestinians would stream across with terrorists among them, wreaking havoc.

But he stressed the event will be a bilateral US-Israeli celebration, downplaying reports that very few if any diplomats from other countries that have not recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital would attend. IDF said it only targets protesters who threaten the border.

For the last few weeks, city planners and workers have been sprucing up the neighborhood, cleaning, planting flowers and re-painting street markings.


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