Israeli soldiers shot and killed seven Gazans, and wounded more than 250 others, during weekly protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, according to local health officials.
Based on Palestinian Health Ministry figures, as Reuters noted, that brings the Palestinian death toll to about 200 since the Great Return March began at the Israel-Gaza border fence on March 30.
Politicians, international law experts, and human rights advocates have sharply condemned Israel not only for the decades-long occupation and the blockade that Israel and Egypt have imposed since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, but also for authorizing Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to fire at unarmed protesters.
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The Israeli military has not ceased its use of live ammunition and the targeting of demonstrators and bystanders, despite months of international outcry.
The Palestinians shot dead by the IDF on Friday were, according to Haaretz, “Ahmed Ibrahim Zaki El tawil, 27, from the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza; Ahmad Ahmad Abdullah Abu Naim, 17, from the Nuseirat refugee camp; Mohammed Abdulhafiz Yusuf Ismail, 29, from the al-Bureij refugee camp; Tamer Iyad Mahmoud Abu Rummaneh, 22, from Rafah; Afifi Mahmoud Atta Afifi, 18, from Gaza City; Abdullah Barham Sulaiman al-Daghmah, 25, from Abasan al-Jadida; and Issam Abbas, 21.”
Some 15,000 Palestinians reportedly participated in this week’s protest. In response to the demonstration on Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman ordered an immediate halt of all fuel deliveries through Israel to the Gaza Strip. Earlier this week, the United Nations had begun overseeing the delivery of Qatari fuel to restart Gaza’s only power plant. Gaza’s two million residents have been limited to roughly four hours of electricity per day.
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