Israeli troops open fire on Gaza protesters, one killed

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"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.

Some in the Gaza crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device, the Israeli military said. The current wave of protest cannot be understood detached from this context or from the 70-plus year regional conflict and its many complexities, nor can it be solved using military force.

Rights groups say Israel's open-fire regulations are unlawful because soldiers can use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters. On Thursday a group of former Israeli soldiers, members of the sniper teams, wrote in an open letter "we are filled with shame and sorrow...

Your country would do the same", an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter.

The ministry says 203 of those hurt were treated at hospitals and the rest at field clinics.

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Despite global condemnation, including warnings by the United Nations Human Rights Council against the use of lethal force against civilians, who do not pose an immediate threat to life or severe injury, Israeli authorities and politicians have praised the army's actions and vowed to continue repressing protesters to "protect" their border.

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

The Ministry also called on the global community to take a decisive and firm stance condemning Israel's escalating violations, and to provide the urgently needed protection to the Palestinian people, and to ensure an end to the violations against the medics and all medical facilities.

The injuries were sustained during a mass protest Friday on Gaza's sealed border with Israel, the third in as many consecutive Fridays.

Mohammed al-Hajjar, a Palestinian photographer for the news website Middle East Eye, was lightly injured by a live round that grazed his right arm while he was covering protests east of Gaza city, according to his employer, the PJS, and news reports.

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In all, 27 protesters were killed and hundreds wounded by army fire since late March.

Since the protests began on March 30, 34 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces firing live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the demonstrators on the other side of the border.

Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the rioters getting across the fence. 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, whom protesters view as cooperating with Israel.

Thousands of Palestinians arrived at tented camps near the border on Friday as a protest dubbed "The Great March of Return" moved into its third week.

At five spots along the frontier, tent complexes have been erected hundreds of metres from the border where families have gathered.

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