Fury as Netanyahu Spokesman Compares Palestinian Protesters to ‘ISIS Women’

REUTERS  Amir Cohen

Yet after a year of weekly protests during which Israel has exacted a horrifying toll on unarmed civilians, Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated once again on Saturday their determination not to allow the world to forget them and leave them to their fate at Israel's hands.

Paraic O'Brien reports - and viewers may find some of the images in his report distressing.

The victims were Tamer Hashim Abu al-Khair, 17, who was killed by Israeli bullets in the chest east of Khan Yunis, and Adham Nidal Amara, 17, was also killed Saturday morning before the start of the demonstrations.

The inquiry found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers had shot at children, medics and journalists, even though they were clearly recognisable as such.

The protests are to push for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to ancestral homes in what is now Israel.

And correspondents reported that Israeli tanks were stationed near the border fence.

The demonstration came hours after tens of thousands of Palestinians protested at several locations along the fence surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Like every week over the previous year, unarmed protesters demanded an end to the decade-long siege of Gaza and asserted their right to return to familial lands now in Israel and were met with lethal force by Israeli occupation forces stationed across the fence.

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East of Gaza City, small groups of young men approached the fence and sought to break it multiple times but were forced back by Israeli tear gas and live fire.

The Spokesperson's Office said that Saturday was one of the quietest and most controlled Hamas run events since the riots began about a year ago. A Gaza rocket attack wounded seven Israelis north of Tel Aviv on Monday and, in response, Israel launched a wave of air strikes and ramped up its forces at the border.

According to Ma'an, two people were killed and dozens injured by Israeli gunfire along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip. The Kingdom stated its categorical rejection of Israeli policies and practices, along with false and illegal plans, that it described as flagrant violations in defiance of global law, charters, conventions and resolutions, which are preventing any chance of achieving a two-state solution.

Hamas chief in Gaza Yahia Alsinwar, who visited border protest zones in Gaza and participated in it in a clear threat signal from there saying that "Israel today is before a new test, we approach a new year of these popular marches, the way the Palestinian resistance deals with the occupation in regard to the popular marches in the year to come will never be the same as the year that passed". Since Hamas took over governance of Gaza by force in 2007, it has fought three devastating wars with Israel. Israel has sealed off the narrow Gaza Strip due to security concerns, which affects almost every aspect of life here, from food to electricity to the ability to freely come and go.

In mid-March Israel launched a massive attack on the Gaza Strip, hitting around 100 "Hamas-linked" targets.

The Israeli army, which put the number of protesters at 40,000, accused participants of throwing rocks and setting tires on fire.

Israel's use of lethal force has drawn censure from the United Nations and human rights groups.

A masked boy reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli forces.