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Great Return March death toll reaches 19 after injured Palestinian dies from wounds Open in fullscreen

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Great Return March death toll reaches 19 after injured Palestinian dies from wounds

The Great Return March protests began last week [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 April, 2018

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The latest death brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during protests last Friday to 19, the bloodiest since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.
A Palestinian shot by Israeli soldiers during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip last week has succumbed to his wounds, the health ministry in Gaza said on Friday.

Thaer Rabaa, 30, was shot by Israeli forces during clashes near Jabalia in northern Gaza on March 30 and had been in critical condition since, the ministry said in a statement announcing his death.

His death bringsthe number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during protests that day to 19, the bloodiest since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

The Great Return March protests began last week and included cultural events such as traditional Palestinian dabka dancing for the thousands of families, women and children attending.

Tens of thousands of Gazans protested against the Israeli occupation near the border in a mostly peaceful protest, with smaller numbers breaking forward and hurling rocks and rolling tires at Israeli troops.

Israeli forces responded by firing live ammunition, injuring hundreds in addition to the deaths.

Two more Palestinians have been killed since, including one in an airstrike, and tensions look set to spike again on Friday. 

Thousands of Palestinians are expected to rally at Gaza's border, with Israel warning that its open-fire rules will not change.

Young Palestinians have gathered thousands of tires to burn along the border.

Israel's violent response drew widespread condemnation and calls for an independent investigation from the European Union and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres.

Human Rights Watch said Israel's deadly response to the mass demonstrations was "unlawful and calculated", with senior Israeli officials green-lighting the use of live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators.

Israeli human rights group B'Tselem has called on Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to open fire on Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip.

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