A Palestinian succumbed Monday to wounds he sustained on Friday, the first day of a multi-week planned protest in the border region between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the official Palestinian Authority news site Wafa reported.A member of the Israeli security forces shot 29-yearold Fares al-Raqb in his stomach at the border region near Khan Yunis, the report said. Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza took part on Friday in the protest to support the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes in Israel.Israeli security forces killed at least 15 protesters on Friday, including 10 people who the IDF said belong to armed groups in Gaza. The IDF asserted that many protesters threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at its soldiers as well as opened fire on them, attempted to infiltrate Israel’s borders and set tires on fire.Videos shared on Facebook and Twitter appear to show some protesters participating in violent actions, while others did not.
When asked why an Israeli soldier allegedly shot Raqb, an IDF spokesman did not specifically comment on him, but suggested he had entered an area close to the Israeli border fence.“For weeks, the IDF has been warning against approaching the border fence and calling on Gaza’s residents not to obey Hamas’s orders and refrain from violent activities against Israel. Nonetheless, on Friday the IDF dealt with thousands of people coming close to the border fence, which was all under Hamas’s direction…The tools the IDF is issuing [against people approaching its borders include] issuing warnings, using dispersal means and employing live fire as a last resort.”The IDF said that Abed al-Nabi, who was wrapped in a green Hamas flag during his funeral, was an “active operative” in Hamas’s armed wing, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades.Abed al-Nabi’s family has denied to local and international media that he was a member of any armed group.
UN condemns Israel after over 15 Palestinian casualties in Gaza Land Day protests, March 31, 2018 (Reuters)