Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

IDF 'did not target journalist' killed in violent anti-Israel protest

After last week's deadly violence near the Gaza fence and with fresh protests planned at the Gaza-Israel border tomorrow, the United Nations has urged all parties to refrain from any act that could lead to further violence or place civilians - especially children - in harm's way.

Fifty-one Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza so far this year, including Iyad Zabarka, a 30-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel who was shot dead by soldiers in the West Bank while fleeing the scene after he reportedly crashed a stolen vehicle during a chase with a private security company on Tuesday.

The day of violence, which saw bigger Palestinian crowds than in recent days but not as large as when the demonstration began last Friday, calmed down as night descended.

Gaza's economy has been devastated by years of Israeli military attacks and a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

While political leaders brushed aside complaints, on Sunday the IDF said it would investigate its own conduct in the confrontations.

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"Despite this, since last Friday the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) have been dealing with tens of thousands of people approaching the fence, all instigated by Hamas", it added.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said by blocking the resolution, the complicit in Israel's attacks against unarmed civilians in Gaza.

Palestinian resistance faction Hamas on Saturday condemned the US for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution calling for an investigation into Israel's acts of violence in the Gaza Strip. But they stopped short of specifically threatening a mass breach of the border fence. Mourners and journalists carried Murtaja's body through the streets of Gaza during his funeral on Saturday.

"Israeli forces should exercise maximum restraint, and Palestinians should avoid friction at the Gaza fence", he said.

A Palestinian man carries Iyad al-Dawahidi's prosthetic leg at Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital after he was shot by Israeli forces during protests along the Israel-Gaza boundary, 6 April 2018.

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Some have also called Friday's protest "Black Friday". Hundreds more suffered other injuries, including tear gas inhalation, the officials said.

At one point on Friday, Israeli forces fired tear gas inside the encampment, briefly sending people fleeing. The Gaza Health Ministry confirmed the man's death but did not immediately release his identity.

Palestinian officials identified those killed as Osama Qdeih, 38, Majdi Ramadan Shbat, Hussein Madi, 16, Ibrahim Al-Ourr, 20, Sidqi Abu Outewi, Mohammed Hajj Saleh, 33, and Alaa al-Zamali, 17.

As such, the IDF has said that it has thwarted the infiltration attempts and are responding with riot dispersal means, including water cannons to put out the fires, a huge fan to disperse the smoke and live fire in accordance with rules of engagement.

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