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Daily Trends Now

Campaign urges Israel soldiers to refuse to shoot unarmed Palestinians

Campaign urges Israel soldiers to refuse to shoot unarmed Palestinians

Hamas and Israel have fought three wars in the Gaza Strip since 2008.

Israel has shown it is ready and willing to use the might of its air force, even when targeting a single "armed terrorist" - a person presumed to be a Palestinian spotted at the border fence with Gaza.

The health ministry did not identify the man but said he died in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after being targeted by an Israeli strike near the border.

Last week Hamas called on protesters to behave peacefully, a call again made by the protest organizers - a collection of Palestinian factions - earlier this week.

He called in a statement on the worldwide community, especially the United Nations and European Union, to take every possible measure to prevent violence from escalating against the Palestinian civilians and to help improve the living conditions of the residents of Gaza.

The latest deaths are likely to add to worldwide concerns over the violence, which human rights groups have said involved live fire against unarmed demonstrators posing no immediate threat to life.

Near Gaza border fences, Israeli forces used live ammunition to kill 17 demonstrators. Smaller groups moved closer to the fence, throwing stones, hurling firebombs or burning tires.

For Hamas, it's perhaps the last chance to break a Gaza border blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since seizing the territory from its rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in 2007.

According to the Health Ministry, more than 1,500 Palestinian demonstrators have been injured - many seriously - over the same period. One of them pounds the fence with a club, while two others briefly cross through before jumping back to the other side.

In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the thousands of primarily Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers living in Israel an ultimatum: Take $3,500 and leave for a third country, reportedly Rwanda or Uganda, or face incarceration and deportation. Keeping the area clear of vegetation provides Israeli snipers with clear lines of sight to fire on Palestinian militants or protesters at will.

The UN had confirmed the agreement with Tel Aviv, indicating it would work with recipient countries throughout the entire process of resettlement.

"We have defined the rules of the game clearly and we do not intend to change them", Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said as he toured the frontier on Tuesday. "Anyone who approaches the border is putting his life in danger".

Israel's military spokesman, Brig. Human rights lawyer, Michael Sfard, who attended the protest said, "Gaza is under siege and has been under occupation for the past decade".

A total of 19 Gazans have been killed since Friday. Others suggested trying to disrupt the vision of soldiers with mirrors.

The woman is the latest victim of Israel's discriminatory policies against the Palestinian and their spouses in occupied Jerusalem, tearing families apart, by denying them residency and family unification documents.

The March 30 rallies kicked off a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment - an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe". The Palestinians demand this right not only for those of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are still alive - a figure estimated in the low tens of thousands - but also for their descendants, who number in the millions.

Separately, the military presented evidence of what it said was Hamas" attempts to coerce locals to provide logistical support to the protests, dubbed the "Great March of Return'.


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