Israelis on Gaza Border Unmoved by Palestinian Riots

It follows accusations from the United Nations' human rights office that it has indications of Israeli forces using "excessive force" the previous week.

"The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) uses means such as warnings, riot dispersal means, and as a last resort firing live rounds in a precise, measured way", it said Saturday.

Israeli forces have shot dead seven Palestinians and wounded more than 1,000 as tens of thousands participated in a mass demonstration demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Gaza's economy has been devastated by years of Israeli military attacks and a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Drawing some worldwide criticism for its use of live fire, Israel said it is doing what is necessary to stop violent protesters from damaging or breaching its fence with the coastal enclave.

Israeli snipers have also been instructed to shoot Palestinians approaching the Gaza fence, according to the report. Still, nobody can ignore the high number of injuries and casualties among the civilian population in Gaza whenever Israelis and Palestinians clash.

Violence spiked again on Friday, when clashes erupted as thousands protested along the border, and nine innocent Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed.

Gaza: Israel has made a decision to ban the entry of auto tires into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, a Palestinian official said on Saturday.

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The mass protests are perhaps Hamas' last chance to break a border blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007, without having to succumb to demands that it disarm.

Photo taken from the Nahal Oz kibbutz in southern Israel shows soldiers using tear gas and live ammunition as Palestinians burn tires during a protest on the Israel-Gaza boundary on 6 April.

The six-week protest is set to end on May 15th, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or "catastrophe", when the state of Israel was created, leaving some 750,000 Palestinians and millions of their descendants as refugees.

Over the week now, 29 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces.

"Concerning rules of engagement, soldiers treat any activity putting Israel's security in danger as terrorist acts", he said.

The hundreds of injuries over the past two Fridays of protest have further strained Gaza's already embattled health system.

Israeli troops on the other side of the fence responded with live fire, tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and water cannons.

Military officials have said Hamas has used the protests as a cover for damaging the fence, planting explosives and, in one incident, opening fire on soldiers. Israel has no official death toll figures. "Palestinian photographer Yasser Mourtaja was wearing a vest marked "Press": he was obviously the victim of an intentional shot", said Christophe Deloire, the Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), on Twitter.

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