15 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli Army on Gaza border
New Delhi, March 31: Israeli soldiers on Friday used live ammunition and tear gas on tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza Strip, killing 15 persons and injuring hundreds, media reports said on Saturday.
The reports said Israeli army said that about 30,000 Palestinians had assembled at several points along the border fence with Israel.
The Palestinians had assembled following call by the Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip. Other Palestinian factions had called for a peaceful “March of Return” for Land Day, which marks the Israel government’s expropriation of Arab-owned land in 1976.
Media reports quoting Israeli military said while many Palestinians assembled peacefully flying Palestinian flags, some approached the fence to throw stones at the soldiers. The Israeli military accused the Palestinians of hurling Molotov cocktails, burning tyres and trying to “infiltrate” into Israeli territory and it released videos to corroborate the allegations.
Earlier, Israel had warned that it would use live ammunition against those who came within 300 meters of the fence.
Palestinian factions have been calling for protests every day until May 15, the anniversary of Israel’s independence in 1948, known to Palestinians as the “Naqba” or catastrophe, and Israeli has warned the violence on Friday might only be the beginning.
The first death on Friday came in the early hours when a farmer was hit by a tank shell, the health ministry said. By the end of the day, 1,416 people were injured, including 758 by gunshots. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared Saturday a day of mourning to honour the victims.