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  • Palestinian demonstrators run away from teas gas fired by Israeli forcers during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip.

    Palestinian demonstrators run away from teas gas fired by Israeli forcers during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 March 2019

Three paramedics and a journalist were also hurt by tear gas canisters during the protests.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli troops have shot and wounded 17 Palestinians during a protest alongside the border between Gaza and Israel, during Friday's Great March Of Return protests that have lasted for almost a year.

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UN Investigation Finds Evidence of Israel's War Crimes in Gaza

The Palestinian Health Ministry stated that "17 injuries by the Israeli occupation forces with live ammunition" have occurred but did not give more details on the health conditions of those injured by Israeli troops. The ministry added that three paramedics and a journalist were hurt by tear gas canisters.

The Israeli army told AFP that troops used live fire "according to the rules of engagement" against demonstrators. "In response, we are using riot dispersal means and also firing, according to the rules of engagement of course," a spokesperson said.

The United Nations issued a report Thursday providing evidence of Israel’s crimes against humanity in Gaza. Since protests at the Gaza border started on March 30, 2018, Israeli snipers targeted children, health workers, and journalists, the investigation found.

"Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity," the chair of the U.N. Independent Commission, Santiago Canton said Thursday.

At least 251 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the weekely protests started last year, the majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or airstrikes.

Palestinians say the weekly protests are led by civil society groups demanding an easing of the blockade and recognition of their right to return to their homes and villages, from which their ancestors were expelled by Zionist groups and later by the Israeli government itself after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.

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