Gaza border protests resume as UN calls for inquiry

Source: Associated Press

By ASHRAF SWEILAM and FARES AKRAM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians resumed their fiery protests at Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday as a U.N. human rights body criticized Israel for the “disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force” that killed at least 59 Palestinians earlier this week. Israel condemned the resolution by the U.N. Human Rights Council as biased.

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Friday’s Gaza protests — the eighth in as many weeks — drew Israeli gunfire and tear gas, with at least 23 people wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

Egypt, meanwhile, said it has opened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza for the entire Muslim holy month of Ramadan in an apparent effort to ease the crisis in the impoverished, densely populated territory.

Organizers of the protests say they are meant in large part to break the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt and to pressure Israel to ease its restrictions. Since the demonstrations began March 30, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed and more than 2,500 wounded by live fire, according to the Health Ministry. Palestinian officials say most of the casualties have been unarmed protesters. One Israeli soldier has been wounded.

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