One killed and hundreds injured in clashes on Gaza border

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One killed and hundreds injured in clashes on Gaza border

Gaza's Health Ministry says a 28-year-old Palestinian man has been killed by Israeli fire in a mass protest on the Gaza-Israel border.

One of the Palestinians was in critical condition, Palestinian medics said, as a protest dubbed "The Great March of Return" moved into its third week.

The fatal shooting of protestors near the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip over the last few weeks has rightfully elicited harsh reactions from around the globe.

More than 500 people were wounded, including 122 from gunfire, according to Gaza's health ministry, with the other injuries including those from tear gas.

Israeli forces have shot dead at least 31 Palestinians, including a journalist, and wounded many hundreds since the protests began, drawing worldwide criticism of the lethal tactics used against the protesters.

Some in the Gaza crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device, the Israeli military said. "I refuse to make peace with the Israelis who kill us and besiege us, and the whole world should know this", a protester, Ahmed Abu Batnein, told MEE.

Israeli troops fire teargas at Palestinians during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel. The Israeli forces claim that those killed were trying to cross the fence between Gaza and Israel or were "main instigators".

Palestinians also sought to pull away barbed wire set up by Israeli forces to keep them away from the fence, an AFP journalist said.

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Israel alleges Hamas is using protests as a cover for attacks.

Many protesters left for midday prayers but larger numbers are expected to gather in five spots along the border on Friday afternoon.

Most were injured east of Gaza City, but two were hurt in clashes near Al-Bureij in central Gaza.

"The Israeli authorities must respect the Palestinians' right to peaceful protest and, in the event that there is violence, use only the force necessary to address it".

An Israeli military spokesman said troops were confronted by rioters and responded with "riot dispersal means while also firing in accordance with the rules of engagement".

Thousands of protesters amassed at the border for the third Friday in a row. Organizers encouraged people to walk on a large Israeli flag which had been placed on the ground. 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. It has said that soldiers fire live bullets as a last resort, in a "precise and measured manner".

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.

"The aim behind the demonstration is to support the Palestinian nation and to emphasise on the right of return (of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel)".

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