Palestinians say Israeli soldiers “deliberately” kill protesters on Israel-Gaza Border

Israeli forces kill 17, injure over 1,700, 800 with live gunfire.

GAZA, April 2 (Xinhua) — Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza accused on Monday the Israeli army of deliberately using excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators near the border fence between Gaza and Israel during a rally on Friday.

“The Israeli soldiers intentionally killed and injured as much demonstrators as possible,” the ministry’s spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra told a news conference in Gaza.

Al-Qedra said the death toll of Friday’s events in Gaza has so far reached 16, while some 1,500 people were injured, including 46 in serious conditions.

He explained that 815 suffred from live bullets and explosives injuries, including 154 in the neck and head, 52 in the chest and back, and 38 in the abdomen.

Al-Qedra noted that 200 children and 57 women were among the injuries.

He called for an international investigation to uncover the weapons used by the Israeli army against Palestinian demonstrators.

The spokesman urged international, humanitarian and human rights organizations to take action and file lawsuits against Israel for targeting peaceful demonstrators.

Israel on Sunday rejected international calls for an independent investigation into Friday clashes near the Gaza-Israel border fence.

The Israeli army said its forces did not fire at anyone approaching the separation fence, but aimed at anyone who threatened its sovereignty and crossed the border.

The Friday rally was the start of a six-week long protest that is expected to reach a peak on May 15, the day Israel celebrates its establishment and the Palestinians mark the forcible transfer of two thirds of the Palestinian people and the ethnic cleansing of 418 Palestinian villages.

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