Friday, 20 April, 2018

Israel rejects calls for inquiry into Gaza killings

Demonstrators shout slogans and hold Palestinian flags during'Great Return March at Israeli border Demonstrators shout slogans and hold Palestinian flags during'Great Return March at Israeli border
Wallace Pearson | 03 April, 2018, 04:22

On Friday, March 30, thousands of Palestinians in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip started a protest action to mark Land Day, the day in 1976 when Israeli troopers killed six Arab "citizens" of Israel who were protesting the confiscation of land by the Tel Aviv regime.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators on Friday converged on the Gaza Strip's roughly 45-kilometer-long (28-mile) eastern border with Israel to demand their right to return to their ancestral homes in Palestine.

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

But the Israeli army said Sunday that it would not change its open-fire policy towards Gazan protesters who approach the border fence.

A draft statement put forth to the Council urging restraint and calling for an "independent and transparent investigation" of the violence was blocked by the United States and the United Kingdom, which raised objections and said it did not support its adoption.

Al-Quds Bridgades, a military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, also announced that Arkab was a member of the Brigades.

The situation is now feared to deteriorate further as Israel has threatened to expand its "response" in the face of the demonstration which is set to continue until the day when the USA embassy in Israel is moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

"From the standpoint of the Israeli soldiers, they did what had to be done", Mr Lieberman told Israeli Army Radio.

The military says soldiers opened fire only when necessary against those throwing stones and firebombs or rolling tires at soldiers.

Vermont Senator Sanders - himself a Jew - said in two Twitter posts on Saturday that Palestinian people had a right to protest without being exposed to violence.

Unarmed protester Fares al-Raqib, 29, who was shot Friday, succumbed to his wounds Monday, raising the Palestinian death toll to 18.

The sit-in ends on May 15, or Nakba Day, which will commemorate 70 years since the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias from their villages and towns.

Manelis said that the man in the video "had carried out acts of terror along the fence for several hours", an apparent reference to the burning of tyres, but said the military would investigate.

In one video that spread on social media, a young man was fatally shot from behind while running away from the border area carrying a tire.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials have instructed protesters to bring mirrors to future demonstrations with which to blind the Israeli snipers, as well as buckets with which to cover tear gas grenades thrown by the IDF.

Many Palestinians in Gaza are descendants of those who were displaced in 1948.

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