Israel targets Hamas posts in Gaza

A Palestinian demonstrator wears a mask during clashes with Israeli security forces following a protest on the Gaza Israel border east of Gaza City

Israel targets Hamas posts in Gaza

Gaza's Health Ministry says a 28-year-old Palestinian man has been killed by Israeli fire in a mass protest on the Gaza-Israel border.

Most have been injured east of Gaza Metropolis, nevertheless two have been harm in clashes near Al-Bureij in central Gaza.

Israel's military alleged that the soldier opened fire after rioting by Palestinians and warnings from soldiers.

"During routine activity in northern Gaza, an explosive device that was placed under the guise of the riots was detonated against an (army) engineering vehicle on the western side of the security fence", a military statement said.

This week, the demonstration has been dubbed "the lifting of the flag of Palestine and the burning of the flag of Israel", and is set again to attract crowds of Gazans. The previous week there were an estimated 30,000 protesters.

"The Israeli authorities must put an immediate end to the excessive and lethal force being used to suppress Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza", Amnesty International said on Friday.

Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Friday, April 13, 2018. Protesters stuck a Palestinian flag into the fence and affixed a rope, using it to tug at the coils.

Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to soldiers, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union have called for an independent investigation. According to AFP, the protests are expect to continue until mid-May, when US President Donald Trump plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem, a move that has deeply angered the Palestinians.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade for more than 10 years, while its border with Egypt has also been largely closed in recent years.

The protests, planned to last six weeks, are calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes that are now inside Israel.

The IDF considers Hamas responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip and everything that comes out of it.

"Gaza's health sector has struggled to cope with the mass influx of casualties, due to years of blockade, internal divide and a chronic energy crisis, which have left essential services in Gaza barely able to function", the United Nations agency said in a statement on Friday.

Israel has responded with snipers firing live ammunition, as well as tank shelling and airstrikes.

The Palestinian who was killed was identified as Mohammad Hjeila, 31.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Middle East Eye on Friday morning that they would look into whether the army had carried out any operations near Khan Younis on Thursday evening, and said that the army "cannot comment on what is happening inside Gaza".

Tensions have flared since the beginning of the protests.

Israel has accused Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers of using the protests as a cover for attacks and says snipers only target the main "instigators".

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