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Israeli airstrike kills Palestinian on Gaza border

Israeli soldiers killed 17 Palestinians last Friday along the Gaza border. [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2018

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The latest incident comes after 17 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces last Friday when soldiers opened fire on thousands of demonstrators along the border.
An Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian along the Gaza border on Thursday as tensions increased ahead of new non-violent mass demonstrations.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza did not identify the man but said he died in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after being targeted by an Israeli strike near the border.

The Israeli army earlier said an aircraft had "targeted an armed terrorist adjacent to the security fence".

It said it would "not allow any harm to the security of Israeli civilians." It did not specify if the strike was carried out by a drone or other aircraft.

It comes after 17 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces last Friday after soldiers opened fire on thousands of demonstrators along the border.

A total of 19 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since Friday.

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.

The march is specifically important to 1.3 million of the besieged enclave's population because they are families of refugees who fled to Gaza during the mass expulsion of Palestinians during Israel's establishment in 1948.

Tens of thousands of Gaza residents streamed to five tent camp sites, each located several hundred metres from the border wall.

From there, large crowds marched to the heavily fortified fence, and some among them started throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with live fire, tear gas and rubber bullets.

Israel has faced calls for an independent investigation from the European Union and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres over Friday's violence.

Israel has rejected the calls, saying its soldiers opened fire when necessary to prevent attacks, attempts to damage the fence and infiltrations.

Palestinians say protesters were fired on while posing no threat to soldiers.

Thousands are expected to rally along the border again on Friday.

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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