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Israeli defense minister claims there are 'no innocent people' in Gaza

09 April 2018

Palestine solidarity and anti-Israeli protest rallies were also waged in major Canadian city of Vancouver, where hundreds of protesters marched for hours across the city center, waving signs and shouting slogans condemning Israeli atrocities against Palestinian protesters and calling for a free Palestine.

The blockade has made it increasingly hard for Hamas to govern.

Palestinian news agency Maan said that an Israeli tank fired twice towards the Strip, however the Israeli military said it only used small arms fire.

While most of the tens of thousands demonstrators gathered peacefully last Friday, young men near the border fence threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and burned tires.

The Israel Defense Forces are ordered to keep protesters more than 100 meters from the fence between the two territories and have permission to fire on those who come too close.

Meanwhile, the ministry reported that 1,070 protesters were injured on Friday.

The Israeli military says its troops will only use live fire against people trying to sabotage the border fence, rolling burning tyres towards it or throwing stones.

At one point on Friday, Israeli forces fired tear gas inside the encampment, briefly sending people fleeing.

Ibrahim Ziad al-Err was shot dead by Israeli army as they quelled protesters to the east of al-Bureij refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip.

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Mr Vassell's father, Eric, said his son had bipolar disorder, The New York Times reported. "The just hopped out of the vehicle ". Angry protesters Thursday evening held a vigil at the site where Vassell was gunned down, demanding justice in his shooting.

Israel alleges Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, is seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.

The "Great March of Return" is a weeks-long planned protest in which nearly 1.3 million of Gaza's 2 million inhabitants who are refugees are demanding their right to return to their original homelands from which they were forcibly expelled when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

A United Nations human rights spokeswoman urged Israel to exercise restraint against the Palestinian protesters.

For Hamas, it's perhaps the last chance to break a border blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007, without having to succumb to demands that it disarm.

If it fails to do so, the Security Council would become helpless and lose credibility, the ministry said in a statement.

A White House envoy urged Palestinians to stay away from the fence.

Among those killed by Israel on Friday were two children, Alaa-Eddein Al Zamli (16) and Hussein Madi (14), taking the number of children killed to three.

Palestinians hope to remain at the border for a six-week sit-in to raise awareness to their situation and to the stifling blockade that continues to deteriorate the quality of life for Gaza residents.

Hamas may capitalize on any hatred of Israel amongst Gazans, over half of whom are descendants of refugees from what's now Israel.