Gaza: Great March of Return Continues for the Third Week in Row

Marsha Scott
April 14, 2018

A Palestinian rioter burns an Israeli flag during clashes with IDF troops on the Israel-Gaza border, April 13, 2018.

"Israel will continue to defend its borders and its citizens".

The dead from last Friday included a journalist, Yasser Murtaja, who witnesses said was wearing a press vest at the time he was shot.

Marchers protest against a decade-old blockade and assert what they say is a "right of return" of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel.

In all, 34 Palestinians were killed in the past two weeks, 27 during protests.

"Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people", he said.

"We will return to Palestine, our villages and Jerusalem", Haniyeh said in a fiery speech at one of five protest camps set up along the border.

But Israel says the militant group Hamas, which dominates Gaza, is orchestrating the demonstrations in order to launch attacks.

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The five representatives issued a statement urging Palestinians to demonstrate nonviolently and Israeli soldiers "to refrain from shooting live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian protesters from hundreds of meters away, across the fence separating the two territories".

The Israeli military says it bombed Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip, hours after an explosive device detonated near an Israeli army vehicle along the Gaza-Israel border.

We are still calling for an independent and effective investigation into reports that #Israeli soldiers unlawfully used firearms and other excessive force against unarmed protesters since 30 March in #Gaza. The Israeli forces claim that those killed were trying to cross the fence between Gaza and Israel or were "main instigators".

More than 10,000 Palestinians are participating in demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border. At one camp east of Gaza City, rioters carried on their shoulders a coffin wrapped in an Israeli flag bearing the words "The End of Israel".

Eyewitnesses said that dozens of Palestinian demonstrators managed to cut part of the barbed wire of the border. "We came here so the world can see us and know that life here is miserable, and that there should be a solution".

Hanan Ahsrawi, a member of the Palestinian Labor Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, slammed Israel's use of live-fire in a statement last week.

Gaza officials said at least 220 Palestinians were injured today by Israeli military with two in critical condition. The Israeli military has been on high alert along the Gaza border since March 25th, dispatching reinforcements from infantry, armoured corps and combat intelligence units, alongside special forces, sappers and snipers. The army said its troops were observing legal open fire procedures. Their horrifying use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters, and the resultant deaths, must be investigated as possible unlawful killings.

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.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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