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Teen killed in Gaza protest marking Nakba
Published Sunday 15/05/2011 (updated) 17/05/2011 09:32
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An unidentified 18-year-old was killed and 125 others injured by Israeli fire during a march of Palestinians in Gaza toward the separation fence and Erez border with Israel on Sunday.

The group, estimated to number almost 1,000, marched in commemoration of the Palestinian expulsion from homes and villages in 1948 that accompanied the declaration of the state of Israel. The march began in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun toward the Israeli border.

A medic told AFP that several hundred people had bypassed a Hamas checkpoint just south of the border, and came within a few hundred meters of a concrete border barrier installed by Israel near the Erez checkpoint when shots were fired.

Medical officials also said there were 40 injured by what was described as "poison gas," which officials said was dispersed in canisters toward protesters. They said the gas was not the usual tear-gas deployed by the military, and was causing serious respiratory difficulties.

In a report released at the end of the day, the Palestinian Red Crescent said one had been killed, while 35 were injured by live bullets and at least 100 others were injured by shrapnel.

Protesters calling for the right of return to their homes in what is now Israel, identified an Israeli patrol car, and began throwing stones and condemning Israel's continued siege on the coastal enclave, which is populated by mostly refugees.

Teenagers began throwing stones at an Israeli tank, which opened fire towards them.

An Israeli military statement said "Soldiers fired in a controlled manner in the direction, and towards the legs of the leading rioters, in order to disperse them and prevent them from entering Israeli territory. A number of rioters were injured as a result."

Medics told Ma'an that at least 82 demonstrators were injured by artillery shells and gunfire. The injured were mostly children, and some were critically injured, medical officials said. One journalist was also injured. They were taken by ambulances to hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

The day, known as Yom An-Nakba in Arabic, commemorates the "Day of Catastrophe," when the state of Israel was created, turning an estimated 800,000 Palestinians into refugees.

Most of the people who fled to the Gaza Strip in 1948 were from the city of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, and the towns and villages between Jaffa and Gaza City, as well as from areas in Beersheba and the Negev.

Estimates from the UN's refugee agency said some 200,000 refugees fled to the Gaza Strip. The refugee population now numbers 1.1 million there, three quarters of the population.

AFP contributed to this report
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1 ) Julie / USA
15/05/2011 13:24
israeli thugs riot dispersal tactics are exponentially more violent than those who protest. there is never a peaceful protest in which the human rights of innocent civilians aren't criminally violated, or they are murdered in cold blood.

2 ) Amarein / Palestine
15/05/2011 14:11
FREE PALESTINE !!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WILL RETURN!

3 ) Lukas / AntiZionist
15/05/2011 14:50
Oh, these protesters must be "anti-semites". Ask orientalist academic and Israeli propagandist and Jewish Zionist Bernard Lewis.

4 ) Heba / Amman
15/05/2011 15:05
never forget never forgive.

5 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
15/05/2011 17:05
Way to go Palestinians. You are on the right track to achieving a free, democratic and secular Palestine.

6 ) Mo / Canada
15/05/2011 17:45
Gee, why can't I pick a fight with a soldier, why can't I throw rocks and molotov bombs at his head, why can't I just try to kill him, without him shooting at me! what a mean Israeli

7 ) Me / Gaza
15/05/2011 18:21
Yes Israel, as long as you will celebrate the establishment of 'your' state, we will try to break free!

8 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
15/05/2011 20:56
No refugee problem had the Arab nations accepted the state of Israel. The problem for "refugees" is that the Arab nations exploit them in order to insure that the international and Arab communities overlook their own depraved ruling elite and so blame the problems on Jews. With regard to our own refuggees (800,000) from Arab lands, all were settled in Israel within ten years. That's the difference between Jews and Arabs, we actually care for our people whereas Arabs exploit theirs.

9 ) Julie / USA
15/05/2011 21:20
#6 Mo-ron: the israeli occupation is ILLEGAL. THUS, ANYTHING the israelis do to end Pal protests is an israeli CRIME. this makes israel 100% responsible for ALL injuries and deaths which are nothing less than murder. let's spell it out for your tiny brain: when a person robs a bank, anything the thief does inside the bank is the crime of the thief, anyone he injures or kills is assault and murder, period. israel is the most criminal, violent, thieving nation on the entire planet.

10 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
15/05/2011 21:51
WHENEVER our security parameters are in danger of being breached WE WILL RESPOND (and with DEADLY FORCE, if NEED be). WHY IN THE HELL were Palestinian parents ALLOWING their children to RUN THE RISK of getting potentially "POISON"-GASSED or SHOT ??? Were they CRAZY to allow them to be in a protest that bypassed a Hamas CHECKPOINT ??? DON'T blame US for injuries and killings that happen because of Palestinian protester IGNORANCE !!!

11 ) Sim / US
15/05/2011 22:35
Why would caring Palestinian leaders send their people to "stone throwing demonstrations" ? Why would they be surprised when the attacked army fights back at them?

12 ) Tobias / US
15/05/2011 23:59

Neither side can accept what the other side can afford:
- Israel will never accept the refugee return (or national suicide), and
- Palestinians will never accept giving-up refugee return !!

And thus, the peace proccess was dead from the very beginning,
and all the involved parties should have stopped pretending,
that there was any chance of peace, or statehood, a long time ago !!!


13 ) Maureen / Australia
16/05/2011 00:00
Mo in Canada. The world knows, '... what a mean, thieving, racist, US weapons loaded, double standards Israeli!'

14 ) Kahanist / Israel
16/05/2011 07:49
Sand-nazis kaput!

15 ) Brigitte Queck / Germany
16/05/2011 13:10
Dear Sim !
The Pal?stinian people have nothing other to fight for their right, which is also fixed in UN-resolutions.
By the way, it is something other, to kill people by radioactive bombs and granats , as to throw stones ! Is'nt it ?!!! Brigitte Queck

16 ) Mary / Ireland
16/05/2011 13:31
"Teenagers began throwing stones at a tank, which opened fire on them" ---says it all doesn't it?

17 ) stephy / usa
16/05/2011 21:58
If you are old enough to participate then you are old enough to gett arreested or sometime worse things. This teen wasnt studying or in school or working, he was participating in a VIOLENT protest/demonstration. instead of demanding for the right of return, why not agree to live in peace with israel, and then ask for the right of return.
Does anyone really think that people who throw rocks at you and fire rockets at you really want to live in peace with you?
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