Gaza: Israeli forces have shot dead ten Palestinians, including a child and wounded more than 1000 as tens of thousands participated in a mass demonstration demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The Israeli military said troops had opened fire when people attempted to breach the fence on the frontier. The protesters are demanding that refugees be allowed to return to ancestral lands that are now occupied by Israel. Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli troops near Gaza’s fence as large groups of protesters gathered for a new round of protests as part of a six-week rally dubbed the “Great March of Return,” which began last Friday.
Thousands of protesters gathered in locations near the fence east of Khan Yunis, in the south of the blockaded Palestinian enclave, and east of Gaza City.
Last Friday’s protests turned violent when Israeli military forces used lethal force to disperse the protesters, shooting and killing 20 unarmed demonstrators. One of the casualties succumbed to his wounds earlier today.
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour urged the UN Security Council to demand an independent investigation into the deaths, but the United States, Israel’s closest ally, objected.
Thousands of Palestinians have stayed in tent encampments near the fence over the past week. During the latest protests today, Palestinians set fire to mounds of tires in what they want to be a smokescreen from Israeli snipers.
In the Gaza Strip, almost 1.3 million of the small territory’s two million inhabitants are refugees demanding their right to return to their pre-1948 homes.
The protests are slated to continue until May 15, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), in which more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced by Israeli forces in 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
(Inputs Haaretz, Press Tv)