Four Palestinians shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces in Gaza Strip

Casey Dawson
April 22, 2018

Israel's defense minister says Gaza's Hamas rulers are the "only culprits" in the death of a Palestinian boy who was killed by Israeli army fire in protests on the Gaza-Israel border. The MoH also indicated that 42 per cent of the injuries (305 people) have been hospitalized, including 156 people hit by live ammunition.

The protest campaign, dubbed The Great March of Return, is leading up to May 15, when Palestinians mark Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, commemorating their displacement around the time of Israel's founding in 1948.

Palestinians have long demanded that as many as five million direct descendants of the original Palestinian refugees be given the right to return to their ancestral homes.

Yehiyeh Sinwar, a top Hamas official, told activists that even if conditions are tough, "we will not bargain on the Palestinian people's rights in exchange for bread". Successive Israeli governments have rejected this right, given that its recognition would lead to an end of the Jewish majority within Israel itself.

The unemployment rate for Gazans stands at roughly 46 percent, with 65 percent of those under 30 jobless.

Palestinians protesters throw stones during clashes near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza City, April 20, 2018. Israel has pledged to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks, and alleges there have been attempts at all three.

On Dec. 6, 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, drawing global condemnation and angry protests in the Palestinian territories.

The overall number of participants in today's demonstrations, ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 according to different estimates, was lower than on 13 April, continuing the declining trend observed in previous weeks.

"Every week there are fewer people, but much more terror activity", Lieberman said of the border riots.

In a nod to Palestinian Prisoners Day, which Palestinians marked on Tuesday, protest organizers hung banners bearing the images of Palestinians languishing in Israeli prisons.

Two Palestinians were shot and killed earlier in the afternoon. And last month, they assaulted a bus of schoolchildren in Yatta town, south of Hebron, injuring several.

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Prior to the protests, the IDF dropped pamphlets in Arabic from the sky, warning locals not to cooperate with Hamas and not to get too close to the border fence.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and has no administrative control over the strip.

Away from the border, Israeli-American Hollywood actress Natalie Portman, who was born in Jerusalem, announced she would not attend a ceremony in Israel to accept a million-dollar prize because of "distressing" events in the country. Most kites showed the colors of the Palestinian flag.

Israeli forces were using tear gas in addition to live fire.

The Israeli army said Friday it was looking into the death of the teen, identified as Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub. Rights groups say orders allowing troops to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters are unlawful.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov wrote on Twitter: "It is outrageous to shoot at children!"

The 2017 report includes one reference to the territory being occupied.

The Trump administration has been mum on Israel's presence in the West Bank relative to its predecessors.

Also largely silent are the bourgeois Arab regimes.

Egypt was no doubt acting on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni oil monarchies, which are ever more closely aligning themselves with the USA and Israel in preparation for military confrontation with Iran.

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