A second mass protest by Palestinians at the border of Gaza and Israel turned deadly after Israeli soldiers opened fire. Israel claimed Hamas is using the demonstrations as cover to try and infiltrate its border. CGTN’s Stephanie Freid reports from the protest.
Hamas calls for calm and a UN statement urging restraint on both sides did not keep clashes from erupting again this Friday along the Gaza-Israel border.
Israel’s army once again positioned snipers along the border and warned Palestinians protesters not to try and breach the border fence or even come within 300 meters. Soldiers were ordered to shoot anyone trying to do so.
A new Palestinian tactic employed this week was visible for kilometers – burning tens of thousands of tires to create a smokescreen. Also, protesters said they would use large mirrors to blind snipers and soldiers positioned along the border.
The protest is a Hamas initiative aimed at raising awareness around bleak living conditions in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s continued blockade of the Strip and, Israel official say, a tactic for pushing Israel into a political and military corner.
Hamas vows to continue protests until mid-May – the 70th anniversary of Israeli statehood. Critics alternately blame Palestinian casualty tolls on Hamas for quote: “using civilians as human shields” and on Israel’s military for using live fire on unarmed protesters.