Journalist killed by Israeli forces while covering protests

On the first day of protests last week, Israeli forces killed 16 Palestinians and injured over 1,000 more with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas. The wounded Palestinian was taken to hospital in serious condition. He rested on a stretcher placed on the ground. Israeli troops opened fire from across the border, killing at least nine Palestinians and wounding 491 others in the second mass border protest in eight days.

On March 30, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians as a protest by tens of thousands led to clashes and the bloodiest day since a 2014.

That brings the total number of Palestinians killed to 20, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, which said it has not included the bodies of two men killed near the fence that Israel says it is holding in its toll.

It alleges Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, is seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.

Organisers of the "March of Return" - including Hamas - have called for peaceful protests, with large crowds taking part in the demonstrations.

Demonstrators are demanding the right of return for refugees.

A leading Israeli rights group, B'Tselem, issued a rare appeal to soldiers to refuse "grossly illegal" orders to fire at unarmed protesters.

A White House envoy urged Palestinians to stay away from the fence.

"Reports by the Israeli Defense Forces about throwing of stones and firebombs against their positions and attempts to cross the fence into Israel must also be clarified", it added.

A Palestinian journalist has succumbed to his wounds and died today after being shot in the stomach by an Israeli sniper on Friday.

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Palestinian media reported that a tank had fired shells at the men.

Around 70 percent of Gaza's two million populations were forced from their homes and now live in a territory the size of the U.S. city of Detroit - about 360sq km - which has been described as "the world's largest open-air prison".

Militant group Islamic Jihad has claimed at least one of the dead as a member.

He also lashed out at the protesters for burning tires, arguing that black tire smoke has detrimental health effects for people who breathe it in. "We are saying that Israel has obligations to ensure that excessive force is not employed".

The blockade has made it increasingly hard for Hamas to govern.

Also in Rafah, Israeli soldiers shot at the head of Muhammad Said Mousa al-Haj Saleh, 33, killing him.

Israel has said it would prevent a mass border breach at any cost.

Israel has warned that it will not permit a breach of the fence and said it has a right to defend its sovereign border. "The circumstances in which journalists were allegedly hit by IDF fire are not familiar to the IDF and are being looked into".

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel's army radio on Thursday that he had asked the attorney general to examine whether B'Tselem should be investigated for "calling for sedition".

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the Palestinian was armed with a long screwdriver and was trying to stab the Israeli near the settlement of Mishor Adumim when another Israeli civilian drew a gun and shot the would-be attacker.

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