Hamas Says One Palestinian Killed in Israel Border Protests

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(Bloomberg) -- One Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire as residents of the Gaza Strip held violent protests near the security fence with Israel for the seventh straight Friday.

Protesters burned tires, hurled rocks and flew kites with burning items attached to them in an attempt to ignite fires in Israel. Eyewitnesses said that dozens of demonstrators cut the border fence. The Israeli army said it responded with riot dispersal means, and that troops are firing in accordance with the rules of engagement.

At least 167 were injured, including 45 shot with live ammunition, in addition to the person killed, Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry said. Israel’s army estimated about 15,000 Palestinians demonstrated in five locations along the border, down from as many as 40,000 in the first week of demonstrations. Hamas, a militant Islamist organization that seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union.

The weekly demonstrations have been organized by Hamas to highlight the Palestinians’ plight as refugees 70 years after Israel’s creation and as the U.S. prepares to move its embassy next week from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, part of which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future state. At least 53 Palestinians were killed in the first six weeks of protests, according to Hamas health officials.

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