Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

France urges Israeli restraint after Gaza deaths

France urges Israeli restraint after Gaza deaths

Israeli forces opened fire on rallies marking "Land Day", an annual Palestinian commemoration of the deaths of six Arab Israeli citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976, during demonstrations against government land confiscations in northern Israel.

In Friday's confrontations, large crowds gathered near the fence, with smaller groups of protesters rushing forward, throwing stones and burning tires.

Sanders tweeted that "the killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic".

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman continues to reject worldwide calls for an investigation.

The Israeli military accused Hamas on Sunday of releasing videos that were incomplete, edited or "completely fabricated", but did not elaborate.

Protests have continued since Friday but at a far smaller scale.

Israel said it had doubled the number of troops guarding the border.

They have claimed to be targeting protesters posing a threat to what they call the Israeli border but footage showing Palestinians being shot while praying or running away from the fence has discredited those allegations.

"An army can use reasonable force to defend a border", said Omar Shakir of the global group Human Rights Watch.

Shelling 'kills Palestinian' in Gaza
At Least 7 Palestinians Reportedly Killed By Israeli Troops In Massive Gaza Protests

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has rejected global calls for an investigation.

There were discrepancies in Palestinian reports on the Gaza death toll from Friday. The militant group Islamic Jihad said the man had been a member.

A Palestinian protester wearing an Anonymous mask holds a knife during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 01, 2018.

Fatalities from the March 30 violence on the Israel-Gaza border identified by Israel as members of terror groups.

"Israel can not allow violent Palestinians who are being sent by an organization whose aim is to destroy the state" to enter Israeli territory, he said.

Hamas is a terrorist group that openly seeks to destroy Israel and which seized control of Gaza in a violent coup against the Palestinian Authority.

Protests are to continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding. The vast majority of Gaza's two million people are their descendants.

Gaza's continued border closure has made it increasingly hard for Hamas to govern.

In a risky strategy, Hamas appears to be trying to use the protests to draw attention to the hard conditions in Gaza, without plunging into another devastating war with Israel.

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