Four Palestinians dead in Gaza explosion

14 April, 2018, 20:19 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Martyrs in Gaza Resist Israel's 'Flagrant Violations of International Law' (Audio)

Tensions are rising on the Gaza-Israel border as Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the coastal territory, has mobilized people for unprecedented weekly protests along the borders since March 30.

More than 363 Palestinians were also injured by Israeli forces as the forces cracked down on peaceful protests of the ongoing Great March of Return at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.

The crowds were smaller than last week but Israeli officials said the protesters again ignored warnings not to encroach on the fence, with some throwing petrol bombs and stones and trying to damage security infrastructure. Others were also injured by rubber-coated steel rounds.

The protests since March 30 have posed a challenge to Israel, which has dismissed criticism of its use of live fire, saying its rules of engagement are necessary and will not change.

Dozens of Israeli flags were burned, as were photos of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seen by protesters as cooperating with Israel.

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Footage distributed by the military showed an area of the fence made up of several layers of barbed wire coils.

Smaller groups moved closer to the fence, throwing stones, torching tires and burning large Israeli flags, USA flags, as well as posters of Israel's prime minister and defence minister.

It usually employs those terms to refer to casualties caused by the accidental detonation of weapons or explosives used in attacks against Israel.

The Centre pointed out that the Israeli army had used deadly force against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip "in a blatant violation of worldwide law, and killed many people".

Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's centrist Yesh Atid party, called Hamas a "despicable terror organisation" and accused it of exploiting civilians.

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The Israeli rights group B'Tselem said Friday that open-fire policy must not be dictated by worst case scenarios, such as a feared mass breach of the border.

"I am not afraid of death because there is no life in Gaza already", she said.

The five ex-snipers in Friday's statement were identified by name.

In the northern Gaza Strip, Sumaya Abu Awad, 36, attended the protest with her three daughters and son.

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