Israel says Gaza protests are 'state of war'

Todd Singleton
May 6, 2018

A Palestinian teenager who was shot last week by Israeli forces during anti-occupation protests and clashes along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories has succumbed to his gunshot wounds.

On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), in response to a high court petition from human rights groups about the IDF's use of live ammunition against protesters, said that human rights law does not apply to the protests because it falls into the category of a state of war and therefore the IDF has acted according to Israeli and worldwide law.

The health ministry in Gaza says a 19-year-old Palestinian has died of wounds sustained during confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops along Gaza's border. At least 43 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army gunfire in the last month.

As Israel celebrates its 70th birthday, Palestinians mourn what they call the "Nakba" (Catastrophe) of their people's mass-dispossession during the conflict that broke out in 1948.

More than 760,000 Palestinians - now estimated to number almost five million with their descendants - were driven out of their homes in May 1948.

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Two-thirds of the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are war refugees or their descendants.

Israel media reported this week that army snipers would target Palestinian protesters flying kites allegedly rigged with Molotov cocktails. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the worldwide community.

Facing global censure over its use of live fire in the protests, Israel says it is protecting its border and takes such action only when protesters, some hurling firebombs and trying to plant explosives, approach too closely.

The Palestinians and human rights groups, including the United Nations body, have criticised Israel for using live fire against the protesters.

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