Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Gaza clashes: White House issues warning to Palestine protestors

Gaza clashes: White House issues warning to Palestine protestors

Organisers of the protests have set up a "tent city" with media tents, portable loos, electricity and water supplies, and shaded areas for crowds in five locations near the border fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip.

This Friday's protest, dubbed the "day of tires", has both Hamas and the Israeli government threatening responses beyond simple border protests, and the bloody cracking down on such protests, Israeli officials have indicated that the use of live fire on demonstrators was needed to defend the border fence.

Organizers, who have called on participants to remain peaceful, demand that Palestinians displaced by the creation of Israel in 1948 be allowed to return to their ancestral homes.

The Hamas movement said on its official website on Thursday that it has supported the families of those killed and injured last Friday with financial aid.

In addition to the 19 Palestinians killed, more than 1,400 were wounded Friday, 758 of them by live fire, with the remainder hurt by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

The Israeli response generated significant worldwide anger, with critics accusing troops of using disproportionate force.

Israel has rejected calls from the European Union and United Nations for an independent investigation into the killings, saying its soldiers opened fire when necessary to prevent attacks, attempts to damage the fence and infiltrations.

"If there are provocations, there will be a reaction of the harshest kind like last week", Liberman warned on Thursday.

The latest White House statement would appear to put Trump's claimed aim of reaching a peace deal between Palestinians and Israelis even further out of reach.

"Israeli forces should exercise maximum restraint, and Palestinians should avoid friction at the Gaza fence, " he said. "Civilians must be able to exercise their right to demonstrate peacefully". Israel has rejected the calls, saying its soldiers opened fire when necessary to prevent attacks, attempts to damage the fence and infiltrations.

Israel has faced calls for an independent investigation from the European Union and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over Friday's violence.

"Approaching the Gaza perimeter fence is not an offense punishable by death or serious injury, to be executed immediately via shooting from a distance", Hagai El-Ad, the rights group's director, wrote.

A number of Palestine solidarity organisations in Britain are organising a series of popular events and demonstrations in protest at Israel's killing and wounding of participants in the Great March of return in Gaza last Friday.

"I think this was a mistake, a mistake of organisation from us because we shouldn't have let people (go to the border)", he said.

"But at the same time we were not expecting the Israelis to shoot to kill". The demonstrators are hoping that large plumes of black smoke will block the view of the IDF snipers.

Some have been walking the streets collecting money to buy tyres. All of the dead were were males between the ages of 18-30 - including at least 10 known militants in Hamas and other violent groups - indicating that Israel targeted active troublemakers rather than peaceful civilians, the army spokesman's office said.

Like this: