Saturday, March 31, 2018 11:09:01 PM
At least 16 people have been killed by Israeli forces and hundreds more wounded during protests at the Gaza-Israeli border, Palestinian officials say.
Thousands had marched to the border at the start of a six-week protest, dubbed the Great March of Return.
The Israeli military said soldiers had opened fire after rioting, reports BBC.
UN Security Council members meeting in New York have called for an investigation into the violence.
Palestinians have pitched five camps near the border for the protest. They are demanding that refugees be allowed to return to homes that are now in Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the UN Security Council to help provide "protection for our Palestinian people".
"I... place full responsibility on the Israeli authorities for the loss of the martyrs who were killed today," he said.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said there were about 17,000 Palestinians in five locations near the border fence. It said it had "enforced a closed military zone" in the area surrounding Gaza.
Although most protesters stayed in the encampments, some groups of youths ignored organisers' calls to stay away from the fence and headed closer to Israeli positions.
The IDF said troops were "firing towards the main instigators" to break up rioting that included petrol bombs and stones being thrown at the fence.
A spokesman said all those who were killed had been trying to breach or damage the border fence, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Israel said it had targeted sites of the Hamas militant group.
Israel deployed tanks and snipers. Witnesses said a drone had been used in at least one location to drop tear gas. Hamas, the militant group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, does not recognise Israel's right to exist but last year said it was ready to accept an interim Palestinian state limited to Gaza and the West Bank.
Addressing protesters on Friday, Hamas senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh said "we will not concede a single inch of the land of Palestine".
He said: "There is no alternative to Palestine and no solution except to return." Palestinian health officials said at least 400 people had been wounded by live ammunition. It said one of those killed was a 16-year-old boy.
The Israeli military oversees a no-go zone along the Gaza border, citing security concerns, and has doubled its troop presence for the protest. It fears the protest could be an attempt at a mass breach of the border.
The Israeli foreign ministry said the protest was a "deliberate attempt to provoke a confrontation with Israel" and responsibility for any clashes lay "solely with Hamas and other participating Palestinian organisations".
UN deputy political affairs chief Taye-Brook Zerihoun told the council the situation in Gaza "might deteriorate in the coming days" and called for civilians, particularly children, to not be targeted, Reuters news agency reports.
"Israel must uphold its responsibilities under international human rights and humanitarian law," he said.
"Lethal force should only be used as a last resort with any resulting fatalities properly investigated by the authorities."
Palestinians have erected five main camp areas along the Israel border for the protest, from Beit Hanoun in the north to Rafah near the Egyptian border.
The Great March of Return protests started on Friday as 30 March marks Land Day, which commemorates the killing of six protesters by Israeli security forces during demonstrations over land confiscation in 1976.
The protest is scheduled to end on 15 May, which Palestinians call Nakba (catastrophe) and which marks the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948. Palestinians have long demanded their right to return but Israel says they should settle in a future Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.
Bangladesh has recently celebrated a state-sponsored daylong event as it crossed the first step towards development by changing its nomenclature to a developing country from the position of a least developed country. In the previous decades several countries have crossed the steps -from LDC to developing and medium income to ...
Actor Taapsee Pannu, who has worked in almost three dozen films in three languages in just eight years, reveals that she didn't even want to be an actor, initially, when she signed her first film."I didn't even plan Bollywood! I did my first film just to experience something new, and ...
AP, Christchurch :Jonny Bairstow made an unbeaten 97 and Mark Wood 52 in a 95-run eighth-wicket partnership which lifted England to 290-8 at stumps Friday on the first day of the second cricket test against New Zealand.The pair helped mask the deficiencies of an England batting lineup which earlier had ...
AFP, Richfield :US President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that US forces would pull out of Syria "very soon" and lamented what he said was Washington's waste of $7 trillion in Middle East wars.In a populist address to industrial workers in Ohio, Trump said US forces were close to securing all ...
AFP, Barcelona :Lionel Messi returned to training with Barcelona on Thursday to offer the Catalans a boost with less than a week to go before their Champions League clash against Roma.Messi missed Argentina's two internationals over the last week due to a hamstring strain, although he did train between the ...
NEWSPAPER reports said Sub-inspector at Gouripur police station in Mymensingh Asaduzzaman Asad, 37, who was stabbed in the abdomen by an alleged drug peddler on Wednesday, was flown to Dhaka on Thursday for better treatment. The police official was attacked by the criminals when he tried to catch one of ...
Well we all know who Mahira Khan is and what is capable of, despite having a small role in 'Raees' opposite Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira managed to grab many eyeballs. Though it was a small role but Mahira proved that she is a star. Recently a viral video of Mahira ...
AFP, Colombo :Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday reduced the responsibilities of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as a power struggle worsened within their uneasy coalition.Sirisena took away the central bank, the policy-making National Operations Room and several other institutions from the control of Wickremesinghe, who had held them since coming ...
NINE scheduled banks, burdened with huge amounts of defaulted loans, are now facing capital shortfall of at least Tk 16,507.38 crore. This year Bangladesh Bank officials said excessive defaulted loans in nine commercial banks had mainly deteriorated their capability of keeping required capital in line with international banking standards.However, we ...
Actor Rosamund Pike said she wanted to play Mary Poppins in the franchise reboot and also reached out to director Rob Marshall to show her interest. The 39-year-old actor said she thought writing to the filmmaker to let him know she was interested in playing the magical nanny in "Mary ...
Reuters, Kemerovo :President Vladimir Putin flew to the scene of a shopping mall fire in Siberia that killed 64 people and promised angry residents on Tuesday that those responsible for what he called criminal negligence would be punished.The fire, at the Winter Cherry mall in the city of Kemerovo, killed ...