Two more killed as Gaza death toll reaches 21

Nine Palestinians were killed on Friday as Israel ignored calls for restraint in its use of force against unarmed protesters in Gaza for the second week in a row.

Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, warned that, under worldwide law, firearms could be used only in cases of extreme necessity, as a last resort and in response to an imminent threat of death or risk of serious injury.

Protesters also moved toward other camps, including east of Gaza City, where a senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, greeted the crowd.

The development came after Palestinian waged their annual protest march late last month towards the fence separating Gaza from the territories occupied by the Israeli regime to begin a six-week protest event dubbed "The Great March of Return", demanding the right to return for Palestinians driven out of their homeland. Gaza's 2 million residents obtain just a few hours of electrical energy every day, faucet water is undrinkable and the shoreline has been polluted by tons of untreated sewage.

The journalist, Yasser Murtaja, 30, had been known to use a drone for photos and video, but two journalists who were with him said he had not been using it on Friday.

"Reports by the Israeli Defense Forces about throwing of stones and firebombs against their positions and attempts to cross the fence into Israel must also be clarified", it added.

A Palestinian journalist shot by Israeli forces during a mass demonstration along the Gaza border has died of his wounds.

"There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip", Mr Lieberman told Israel's public radio.


They say that Hamas is attempting to use the demonstrations as a cover for terrorist attacks, pointing to violent incidents on the border, including one shooting attack in northern Gaza today, as proof.

On Thursday, Lieberman threatened to respond to the protests in the "harshest" manner if the demonstrators approach the fence separating Israelis and Palestinians. "The target was very clearly journalists", he said.

He also lashed out at the protesters for burning tires, arguing that black tire smoke has detrimental health effects for people who breathe it in.

"IDF troops fired toward them", the army said.

Hundreds of protesters suffered other injuries, including tear gas inhalation.

The mass protests are perhaps Hamas' last chance to break a border blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007, without having to succumb to demands that it disarm. The Gaza Health Ministry confirmed the man's death but did not immediately release his identity.

The Times of Israel is reporting that the IDF is claiming that the protesters who were killed or hurt by the IDF were all members of Hamas and committing acts of violence.

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