7 killed, scores wounded by Israeli fire in Gaza protest

FARES AKRAM and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH – April 6, 2018

KHUZAA, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Palestinians protested along Gaza’s sealed border with Israel on Friday, engulfing the volatile area in black smoke from burning tires to try to block the view of Israeli snipers and cheering a Hamas strongman who pledged that the border fence will eventually fall.

Israeli troops opened fire from across the border, killing at least seven Palestinians and wounding 293 others — 25 of them seriously — in the second mass border protest in a week, Gaza health officials said. Hundreds more suffered other injuries, including tear gas inhalation, the officials said.

The deaths brought to at least 29 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since last week.

The latest casualties were bound to draw new criticism from rights groups that have branded Israel’s open-fire orders on the border as unlawful, after Israel’s defense minister warned that those approaching the fence were risking their lives.

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