Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Palestinians Protest on Heels of Israel's 70th Birthday

Palestinians Protest on Heels of Israel's 70th Birthday

There have been no Israeli casualties, and Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to soldiers on the other side of the heavily guarded fence.

Riyad Mansour made the comments during a press conference in NY on Friday, expressing hope that the Geneva-based Human Rights Council would approve a resolution authorizing a commission "to investigate these crimes".

He told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY on Friday that the Palestinians will not accept an investigation that Israel has announced because "it can not be credible".

An investigation must be independent and transparent, Mansour stressed, as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, other countries, and most recently six independent human rights investigators have called for.

"The Palestinian people, frustrated and desperate due to the Israeli siege and (Palestinian) divisions, have had their hope renewed", he said of the demonstrations.

They are a new tactic in violent Palestinian border protests that have ignited clashes with Israeli forces for the past four weeks.

Some 445 Palestinians were injured in the day's protests, including 96 who were wounded by Israeli army fire.

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The mass marches, which have been backed by several Palestinian factions, are also fuelled by growing desperation among Gaza's two million residents.

Israel has pledged to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks, and alleges there have been attempts at all three.

However, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called on the worldwide body to condemn Hamas's use of children as a cover for their terror activities.

The officials say that of those injured Friday, 174 were transferred to hospitals and 271 treated in field clinics.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman toured the Gaza area Friday, meeting with the troops.

"I came here without a flak jacket", Lieberman noted during his border tour.

A Palestinian uses a hammer to peg down a large slingshot to hurl stones during clashes with Israeli forces across the border in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20.

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On Thursday, the militant group Islamic Jihad released a video showing a gunman watching Israeli army officials through the scope of a rifle.

The rising Palestinian casualty toll signaled that Israel's military is sticking to its open and indiscriminate fire rules despite worldwide criticism of the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. A tear gas canister landed near the tent.

With the flame lit, they sent it into the air and cut the thread - watching as it floated over the border and crashed, causing a small fire.

The clip showed the group's operatives looking through the scope of a rifle at Israeli military officers. A 15-year-old teenager and two men aged 24 and 25, respectively, were hit by snipers, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza Strip.

The military has said it is defending Israel's border and that its troops, including snipers, only target "instigators".

Before Friday, 28 Palestinian protesters had been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli troops during weekly protests that began in late March. Despite worldwide condemnation, the Israeli army has maintained its rules of engagement, determined to stop protesters reaching the border fence. In one camp, organizers placed four life-sized effigies of Israeli soldiers in a cage facing the border.

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