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: 516486

Reported Deaths: 10299
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35042558
DeSoto33463432
Hinds32797643
Jackson24926392
Rankin22593405
Lee16523245
Madison14978283
Jones14191248
Forrest13852260
Lauderdale12326323
Lowndes11387193
Lamar10713140
Pearl River9759244
Lafayette8881143
Hancock7848132
Washington7561169
Oktibbeha7234138
Monroe7091179
Pontotoc7060110
Warren6892178
Panola6807135
Neshoba6753210
Marshall6735142
Bolivar6472151
Union645699
Alcorn5950108
Pike5947157
Lincoln5544136
George511080
Prentiss510185
Tippah497983
Itawamba4903107
Scott479499
Tate4786118
Adams4784125
Leflore4756144
Yazoo458492
Copiah458395
Simpson4577117
Wayne443772
Covington435395
Sunflower4331106
Marion4311112
Coahoma4259110
Leake414491
Newton396182
Tishomingo388894
Grenada3796109
Stone366466
Attala341690
Jasper341566
Chickasaw319167
Winston318892
Clay313978
Clarke301995
Calhoun288950
Holmes273389
Smith270852
Yalobusha245847
Tallahatchie232653
Greene225449
Walthall222166
Lawrence220842
Perry214656
Amite210357
Webster206748
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182757
Carroll175841
Jefferson Davis174643
Tunica163939
Benton153439
Kemper145541
Choctaw137827
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132339
Franklin126630
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848779

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164582005
Mobile744601384
Madison53563738
Shelby38454371
Baldwin38215589
Tuscaloosa36172644
Montgomery34573782
Lee25690264
Calhoun22636520
Morgan22548411
Etowah20075520
Marshall18865318
Houston17795426
St. Clair16968359
Limestone16206220
Cullman16170306
Elmore15952295
Lauderdale15093307
Talladega14267302
DeKalb13095271
Walker12180380
Blount10791193
Autauga10562157
Jackson10221196
Coffee9440192
Colbert9376210
Dale9049192
Tallapoosa7287202
Russell711465
Chilton7098170
Covington6973197
Escambia6969144
Franklin6369108
Chambers5810142
Marion5446132
Dallas5306210
Pike5135109
Clarke486086
Lawrence4852130
Winston4804110
Geneva4656136
Bibb436495
Barbour370880
Butler3445101
Marengo342993
Monroe338566
Randolph338067
Pickens335090
Fayette332285
Henry321266
Cherokee320564
Hale319589
Crenshaw261878
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay253169
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130745
Choctaw94628
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