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Fresh violence erupts along Gaza-Israel border as Palestinians march again

At least seven people were killed Friday as confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along th...

Posted: Apr 7, 2018 5:25 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2018 5:25 PM

At least seven people were killed Friday as confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the Israel-Gaza border turned violent, Palestinian health officials in Gaza said.

Israeli troops fired live rounds against Palestinians along the border fence, the Israeli military said, a week after violence led to the bloodiest day in Gaza since 2014.

Seven people, including a teenager, were shot and killed in eastern Gaza on Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said in a statement.

More than 1,000 people were injured, at least 25 seriously, the ministry said. Dozens of the injured were treated near the border fence by Red Crescent field medics. Twelve women and 48 children were among the injured, the ministry said.

Tensions had been building on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border ahead of what some Palestinians alternately dubbed "Friday of Fire" or "Friday of Tires," the second in a sequence of "March of Return" actions planned through mid-May.

The goal of the "March of Return" protests, Palestinians say, is to cross the border fence and return to their lands, which became part of Israel seven decades ago.

Ahead of Friday's march, Palestinians gathered thousands of tires to be set on fire on the Gaza side of the border, with the aim of creating curtains of black smoke to obscure the sights of Israeli snipers.

Israeli troops are responding with "riot dispersal means" and live fire "in accordance with the rules of engagement" at Palestinians who "have been rioting in five locations" since Friday morning, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement said. Troops are also using water cannons to put out fires generated by burning tires.

The IDF also said several attempts were made to cross the border fence and said Palestinians also attempted to "carry out terror attacks, including hurling of explosive devices, firebombs and to damage" the fence under the cover of smoke.

It tweeted a video of what purportedly showed people attempting to cut the fence.

The Israeli military and officials have repeatedly said they will not allow any breach of the fence, and that those who do not abide by the rules of engagement will be shot.

In a briefing Thursday, IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Israel would not allow what he called "violent disturbances on the fence under the guise of a civilian march."

Israel blames Hamas and Islamic Jihad for the violence, and warned it will strike deep inside Gaza if provoked.

Hamas' top leader in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, threatened Israel on Friday, saying Hamas will hit Israel if Israel strikes inside Gaza.

US blocks UN statement

UN Secretary-General Ant-nio Guterres called Thursday for all parties to exercise restraint.

"I particularly urge Israel to exercise extreme caution with the use of force in order to avoid casualties," he said in a statement. "Civilians must be able to exercise their right to demonstrate peacefully."

However, the United Nations Security Council on Friday failed for the second time to agree on the release of a press statement addressing the violence in Gaza.

According to two UN diplomats, the United States did not approve the draft statement, preventing it from being released. UN rules stipulate that if any permanent member of the UNSC does not approve the release of the draft press statement, then it is blocked from being issued.

CNN received a copy of the draft statement.

"The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern at the situation at the border of Gaza for the second week in a row. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the right to peaceful protest and expressed their sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives," the draft press statement reads in part.

The draft press statement called for an "independent and transparent investigation" into the violence in Gaza.

The United States blocked a similar statement March 31.

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said he was pushing for Guterres to pursue an "independent, transparent" investigation into those "responsible for killing and injuring Palestinian protesters."

Last Friday marked Land Day, when Palestinian land was confiscated by Israel in 1976.

The day quickly turned into the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 war as Israeli forces fired upon Palestinian protesters along the fence. Thousands of Palestinians had marched to Gaza's border with Israel.

The total death toll in Gaza violence since last Friday is 29.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for the events in Gaza, and says most of those killed are "known terror activists" from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Palestinians and human rights organizations accuse Israel of using excessive and illegal force on what they described as peaceful protesters.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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