Eighteen killed in Gaza border protests

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The number of Palestinian protesters killed during clashes along the Gaza border with Israel has risen to 18, after a man shot in the stomach succumbed to his wounds on Monday.

Faris al-Raqib, 29, was shot during the clashes on Friday, according to the health ministry, as tens of thousands of people took part in some of the biggest protests in recent years.

The Islamic Jihad group said Mr al-Raqib had been a member, but claimed he was not carrying a weapon when he was shot.

Images showed him carrying away one of the wounded before he was injured.

A Palestinian man wounded at the Israel-Gaza border is treated at the Shifa Hospital
Image: A Palestinian man wounded at the Israel-Gaza border is treated at the Shifa Hospital

Hundreds of people were wounded, many by live fire, prompting the EU and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for an independent investigation.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “terrorist” following the deaths.

The Israeli military defended the deaths, with Mr Netanyahu saying the army “will not be lectured by those who have indiscriminately bombed civilian populations for years”.

Palestinian protesters walk in a camp during clashes with Israeli security forces
Image: Palestinian protesters walk in a camp during clashes with Israeli security forces

Mr Erdogan responded: “We don’t have the shame of invading on us, Netanyahu. You are an invader and right now are present in those lands as an invader.

“At the same time, you are a terrorist.”

In another speech he said: “You are a terrorist state. It is known what you have done in Gaza and what you have done in Jerusalem. You have no one that likes you in the world.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

In a later tweet, Mr Netanyahu said: “Erdogan is not accustomed to being answered back to, but he should start getting used to it.

“He who occupies northern Cyprus, encroaches on Kurdish territory and massacres civilians in Afrin cannot preach to us on values and morals.”

The military says soldiers only opened fire when they were attacked by Palestinian protesters throwing stones and firebombs or rolling tyres at them.

A Palestinian protester hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers
Image: A Palestinian protester hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers

But Palestinians say the protesters were shot when they posed no threat to soldiers. The use of live fire has also been criticised by human rights groups.

More from Israel

The health ministry in Gaza said 1,400 people were wounded on Friday, 757 of them by live fire, and the remainder by tear gas and rubber bullets.

Hamas says the mass march was the first in six weeks of protests.

From – SkyNews

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