Israeli Army Kills 17 Palestinians In A Deadly Clash

| March 31 , 2018 , 11:53 IST

At least 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 injured by Israeli security forces during protests in Gaza on Friday. This Incident took place when Palestine's called for a peaceful "March of Return" one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border.

They were protesting against Israel’s longstanding blockade of the territory and in support of their claims to return to homes in what is now Israel.

About 30,000 Palestinian demonstrators gathered at several points along the border fence with Israel, according to Israeli army estimates.

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According to reports, some began hurling stones, and rolling burning tires at the fence, the Israelis responded with tear gas and gunfire. The Israelis said they also exchanged fire with two gunmen across the fence and fired at two others who tried to infiltrate into Israel.

Local officials reportedly said Tens of thousands of Palestinians, pressing for a right of return for refugees to what is now Israel, gathered at five locations along the fenced 65-km (40-mile) frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Friday for an independent investigation into deadly clashes in Gaza between Palestinians and Israeli troops, while Security Council members urged restraint on both sides.

The Jordanian government also issued a statement laying responsibility on Israel for the deaths of the Palestinian protesters. 

Mohammad al-Momani, the spokesperson for the Jordanian government, said: "As an occupying power, Israel bears responsibility for what happened in Gaza today, as a result of the Israeli violation of the Palestinian right to protest peacefully and the use of excessive force against them". 

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Friday's demonstration commemorated Land Day, which took place on March 30, 1976, when six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the Israeli government's decision to expropriate massive tracts of Palestinian-owned land. 

The protest organisers include Hamas and representatives of other Palestinian factions.

There were also small protests in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and about 65 Palestinians were injured.

Israel has imposed tight restrictions on the movement of goods and people since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007. The border with Egypt has also largely remained closed. There is only electricity for a few hours a day.

Israel blames Hamas for the growing crisis, saying it uses resources for tunnel construction and other military purposes instead of investing to improve the lives of civilians.