Israeli troops kill man in Gaza protests - GulfToday

Israeli troops kill man in Gaza protests


Relatives carry the body of a Palestinian, who was killed during a suspected attack on the Hawara checkpoint in January, during his funeral in Nablus. Agence France-Presse

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian during protests along the fortified Gaza-Israel border, the Palestinian health ministry said.

They named the dead as Saher Othman, 20, and said 52 others were wounded during the often violent demonstrations, 27 of them by live fire.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military told reporters, troops stationed along the border did not use live fire. It said some 7,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstrations, who it said threw firebombs and explosive devices towards troops.

“IDF (Israel Defence Forces) troops responded with riot dispersal means,” the spokeswoman said.

Protesters have staged 18 months of weekly demonstrations dubbed the “Great March of Return”, calling for an end to a security blockade imposed by Israel, and for Palestinians to have the right to return to land from which their families fled or were forced to flee during Israel’s 1948 founding.

Israel rejects any such return, saying that would eliminate its Jewish majority.

Egypt, a Gulf state and United Nations officials have been working to keep the border calm in recent months.

Around 210 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began in March 2018, Gaza medical officials say.

In that period, an Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the frontier, and another was killed during an Israeli undercover raid into Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took to the world stage to slam the United States for “depriving the peace process of any credibility” and undermining prospects for a two-state solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a speech before the UN General Assembly, Abbas also criticized the US for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, for saying that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are legitimate and for cutting development aid to the Palestinians.

US policy, he said, is “pushing large segments of the Palestinian people to lose hope in the possibility of long-awaited peace,” and renewed his call for an international peace conference.

Hours later, the Israeli foreign minister called on “all countries” to follow the American example and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“No one can separate the Jewish people from our historical homeland, and no one can separate us from Jerusalem, our eternal capital,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said.


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