Palestinians continue to demonstrate on Israel-Gaza border

Palestinians continue to demonstrate on Israel-Gaza border

For a third consecutive week, thousands of Palestinians are gathering along the Israel-Gaza border.

Islam Herzallah, 28, reportedly died in hospital after he was shot by Israeli troops east of Gaza City.

Hamas has been leading demonstrations across the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip in a bid to stoke tensions with Israeli authorities and prompt a violent response. They are demanding an end to an Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory as well as the right to return to their ancestral lands.

Palestinians protesters burned pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump.

On Friday Mr Lieberman said there were fewer riots on our border because "the other side" had understood Israel's resolve.

But Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to soldiers, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union have called for an independent investigation.

Friday marked the third large-scale protest near the border fence since late March. Crowds of mostly young men have moved closer, slinging stones, torching tyres and setting Israeli flags alight.

Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and live rounds. The IDF said several attempts to "harm or breach the security infrastructure" along the border had taken place, including the detonation of an explosive device near the disused crossing point at Karni, and the throwing of firebombs.

Rights groups say Israel's open-fire regulations are unlawful because soldiers can use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters.

The marches have been organised by Hamas, but large turnouts on two preceding Fridays were also driven by desperation among the territory's 2 million residents.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that 10,000 Palestinians had gathered in five locations along the border fence. The 11-year blockade of Gaza has left Gazans in a perilous position - less than four percent of fresh water is drinkable, the daily electricity supply is one-fifth of that needed, and healthcare provision is on life support.

The company Murtaja co-founded had been vetted for United States government funding, while an global journalists federation said he was harassed and beaten by Hamas police in 2015. "We came here so the world can see us and know that life here is miserable, and that there should be a solution".

Sitting under the shade of trees near the kibbutz of Nahal Oz, he said: "Using live fire is a last resort".

"An order to open live fire at unarmed protesters is manifestly unlawful", it said. Israel says snipers only target the main "instigators".

Thousands of Palestinians marched to the border waving Palestinian flags, while coffins carrying the Israeli flag were set on fire during the day, along with posters of Israeli leaders.

The group has been criticized in Israel for publishing often anonymous testimony by current or former Israeli soldiers who have misgivings about their military service and treatment of Palestinians. "Jordan is the twin of Palestine", said Jammel Abu Baker of the Islamic movement.

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