Gaza death toll rises to 18 after Israeli forces fire on protesters

Gaza death toll rises to 18 after Israeli forces fire on protesters

Gaza City - A Palestinian succumbed to his wounds on Monday three days after being shot by Israeli forces when a mass protest led to clashes, Gaza's health ministry said, raising the death toll to 17. It accused Gaza militant groups of using the protest as a cover to either break through the border and launch terror attacks, and also charged Hamas with fabricating CCTV video footage.

The vast majority of Gaza residents are descendants of Palestinians who fled or were driven from communities in what is now Israel.

Tents were also set up on five different points along the border, a move kicking off six weeks of a sit-in demonstration leading up to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba on May 15. Buses took Palestinians to the border while mosques called on their congregations to participate.

The statement also expressed "grave concern at the situation at the border" and reiterated that he Palestinians have the right to "peaceful protest". It said another man is missing.

The mostly leftist Israeli protesters chanted slogans against the Israeli army and called for an end to the violence on Palestinian civilians as well as a political solution and resumption of the peace process.

"Whoever didn't get close to the fence was not shot", he said.

"I was working in the next field", said his relative Yasser Samour.

Ahead of the mass demonstrations, Israel deployed thousands of troops along the border.

Israel has warned that it will not allow the border to be breached.

The ministry has said 758 people were wounded by live fire on Friday - a figure disputed by Manelis, who said he believed several dozen Palestinians at most were wounded by live rounds and the rest by tear gas and rubber-coated steel pellets. Suddenly, he stands up, limps a few meters, collapses and his carried away by young men.

In Friday's confrontations, large crowds gathered near the fence, with smaller groups of protesters rushing forward, throwing stones.

Majd al-Omari, who filmed the incident on his smartphone, told the Associated Press yesterday that just before the shooting, Abdelnabi had been involved in burning tyres about 200 metres from the fence.

"Our legitimate protest against Israeli military occupation, colonisation and apartheid is granted in worldwide law and must be protected by the global community", Dr. Husam Zomlot said.

Israel has since faced worldwide criticism for what was deemed as an excessive use of force.

The toll prompted the European Union and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for an independent investigation, which Israel has flatly rejected.

This article features content from Morning Star, Associated Press, and other sources.