Israelis fire tear gas, warning shots at Palestinian protesters on Gaza border
Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds at Palestinian protesters on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday during a long-running demonstration in which 43 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in April.
There were no early reports of deaths or injuries at the five tented camps which have sprung up on the Palestinian side of the 40 km border fence beside which Gazans launched what they call “The Great March of Return” on March 30.
Two thirds of Gaza’s two million Palestinians are refugees, and the protest has revived their longstanding demand for the right of return to their former family homes, which now lie in Israel.
The protest is set to culminate on May 15, when Palestinians mark as the “Nakba”, or Catastrophe, commemorating their displacement in 1948.
An added focus this year is President Donald Trump’s decision to begin moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding.
The Palestinians and human rights groups have criticized Israel for using live fire against the protesters.
Israel says it is protecting its borders and takes such action only when protesters, some hurling stones and Molotov cocktails trying to lay explosives, come too close to the fence.
It claims most of those killed were militants, a charge that Palestinians deny.