Gaza-Israel border unrest erupts as Palestinians resume protests

Palestinian protesters use slingshots to throw stones during clashes with Israeli forces at the Israel Gaza border east of Gaza City

Israeli Sniper Targets, Kills Journalist in "PRESS" Vest

After last week's deadly violence near the Gaza fence and with fresh protests planned at the Gaza-Israel border tomorrow, the United Nations has urged all parties to refrain from any act that could lead to further violence or place civilians - especially children - in harm's way.

Observers sought an global investigation into the war crimes and said that the use of lethal force by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) against unarmed civilians and those protected under worldwide law is a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israeli troops opened fire on three Palestinians who were spotted crossing into Israeli territory from the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon, the army said, amid heightened tensions along the Gaza border.

Rights groups have harshly criticised Israeli soldiers' actions, saying they are shooting at Palestinian protesters who pose no security threat.

Organisers of the "March of Return" - including Hamas - have called for peaceful protests, with large crowds taking part in the demonstrations. It has also devastated Gaza's economy, made it virtually impossible for people to enter and exit the territory, and left residents with just a few hours of electricity a day.

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"N$3 ot only did the President of the United States react by saying nothing, not only did the vast majority of members of Congress. been entirely silent about this frankly unconscionable use of force - the US blocked a U.N. Security Council statement calling for an investigation of what happened", he said.

"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. While Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the United Nations says it is still effectively occupied because of the level of control Israel exerts through its restrictions.

Sources in Gaza have confirmed that journalist Yaser Murtaja has died after being shot in the abdomen by an Israeli sniper while covering the protests.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have ferried carts of tires to the border fence with Israel in recent days.

The six-week protest is set to end on May 15th, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or "catastrophe", when the state of Israel was created, leaving some 750,000 Palestinians and millions of their descendants as refugees.

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Photo taken from the Nahal Oz kibbutz in southern Israel shows soldiers using tear gas and live ammunition as Palestinians burn tires during a protest on the Israel-Gaza boundary on 6 April. Israel's army said it "does not intentionally target journalists".

"They have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination".

Palestinian news agency Maan said that an Israeli tank fired twice towards the Strip, however the Israeli military said it only used small arms fire.

Unemployment is approaching 50 p.c, in line with official Palestinian figures.

It is reported that the Palestinian press association denounced the murder of Murtaja, and announced plans to contact the International Court of Justice in The Hague regarding the matter.

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