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.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
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Neshoba1849111
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Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23129377
Mobile16849315
Tuscaloosa10296140
Montgomery10197197
Madison928096
Shelby733863
Baldwin663769
Lee653465
Calhoun456761
Marshall438150
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Morgan412035
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Limestone284230
Walker277292
Talladega265335
Cullman244024
Lauderdale226242
Jackson214915
Franklin205231
Autauga204831
Colbert200532
Russell19443
Blount192525
Chilton186932
Dallas186527
Coffee176311
Dale175151
Covington174029
Escambia172530
Chambers135044
Clarke134317
Pike133513
Tallapoosa131787
Marion107629
Barbour10319
Marengo100822
Butler100740
Winston92213
Geneva9007
Lawrence85032
Pickens84718
Bibb82814
Randolph82316
Hale76730
Washington74412
Clay74112
Cherokee73314
Lowndes70928
Henry7086
Bullock64817
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60630
Perry5896
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Sumter47221
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