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Palestinians prepare for protests as funerals begin for 16 people

Palestinians are preparing for further protests after 16 people were killed in the Gaza’s bloodiest day in years.  

Protesters are returning to a tent city near the Israel-Palestine border to resume a demonstration planned to last six weeks. 

Funerals for those who were killed saw mourners chanted ‘revenge’ while holding Palestinian flags.

Israel has defended its soldiers who yesterday opened fire on Palestinians who had strayed from the tent city protest.

Palestinian protesters carry the body of Sari Valid Abu Avde through the streets of Gaza City during a funeral procession attended by thousands  

Members of the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas, attend the funeral ceremony of Sari Valid Abu Avde

Members of the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas, attend the funeral ceremony of Sari Valid Abu Avde

Thousands attended funerals for those who were killed and mourners chanted 'revenge' while holding Pelstinian flags. Pictured: Members of the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades

Thousands attended funerals for those who were killed and mourners chanted ‘revenge’ while holding Pelstinian flags. Pictured: Members of the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades

Relatives of Palestinian Hamdan Abu Amshah, who was killed along Israel border with Gaza, mourn during his funeral in Beit Hanoun town, in the northern Gaza Strip

Relatives of Palestinian Hamdan Abu Amshah, who was killed along Israel border with Gaza, mourn during his funeral in Beit Hanoun town, in the northern Gaza Strip

Women mourn the death of Hamdan Abu Amshah in Beit Hanoun. Palestinian military chiefs said Israeli soldiers began shooting when troops were bombarded with stones and firebombs

Women mourn the death of Hamdan Abu Amshah in Beit Hanoun. Palestinian military chiefs said Israeli soldiers began shooting when troops were bombarded with stones and firebombs

Mourners hold back a relative of Hamdan Aby Amshah. Palestinian officials have accused Israel of disproportionate force, while human rights groups questioned Israel's use of live fire

Mourners hold back a relative of Hamdan Aby Amshah. Palestinian officials have accused Israel of disproportionate force, while human rights groups questioned Israel’s use of live fire

More than 1,400 protesters were also wounded - 758 of them by live fire. Others were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation, according to the Gazan health ministry. Pictured: Mourning relatives of Hamdan Aby Amshah

More than 1,400 protesters were also wounded – 758 of them by live fire. Others were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation, according to the Gazan health ministry. Pictured: Mourning relatives of Hamdan Aby Amshah

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has declared a day of national mourning and said Israel is fully responsible for the deaths. Pictured: Relatives of Hamdan Aby Amshah at his funeral 

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has declared a day of national mourning and said Israel is fully responsible for the deaths. Pictured: Relatives of Hamdan Aby Amshah at his funeral 

Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on the site as Israeli troops approached the heavily fortified fence and cut off the Gaza strip.  

Military chiefs said Israeli soldiers began shooting when troops were bombarded with stones and firebombs.

They also claimed Palestinians tried to damage fencing and infiltrate Israel and that protesters opened fire on Israeli soldiers along the border. 

But Palestinian officials have accused Israel of disproportionate force, while human rights groups questioned Israel’s use of live fire.

UN chief Antonio Guterres called for an ‘independent and transparent investigation.’

More than 1,400 protesters were also wounded – 758 of them by live fire.

Others were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation, according to the Gazan health ministry.

An injured Palestinian protester is carried away after Israeli soldiers' opened fire on demonstrators during clashes near the Israel-Palestine border 

An injured Palestinian protester is carried away after Israeli soldiers’ opened fire on demonstrators during clashes near the Israel-Palestine border 

Palestinian protestors wave their national flag and gesture during a demonstration commemorating Land Day yesterday near the border with Israel

Palestinian protestors wave their national flag and gesture during a demonstration commemorating Land Day yesterday near the border with Israel

An aerial view of people gathering for the 'Great Return March' in Khan Yunis, Gaza yesterday

An aerial view of people gathering for the ‘Great Return March’ in Khan Yunis, Gaza yesterday

Smoke rises into the sky as protesters arrive for The Great Return march in Khan Yunis, Gaza 

Smoke rises into the sky as protesters arrive for The Great Return march in Khan Yunis, Gaza 

A demonstrator throws a rock with a slingshot in response to Israeli soldiers' intervention in the 'Great March of Return'

A demonstrator throws a rock with a slingshot in response to Israeli soldiers’ intervention in the ‘Great March of Return’

The six-day protest, in support of Palestinian refugees, began on Land Day when Palestinians commemorate the killing of six unarmed Arab protesters in Israel in 1976

The six-day protest, in support of Palestinian refugees, began on Land Day when Palestinians commemorate the killing of six unarmed Arab protesters in Israel in 1976

An Israeli military spokesman said Friday's events were 'not a protest demonstration' but 'organised terrorist activity'. Pictured: Palestinian protesters shout slogans and hold flags during the demonstrations yesterday 

An Israeli military spokesman said Friday’s events were ‘not a protest demonstration’ but ‘organised terrorist activity’. Pictured: Palestinian protesters shout slogans and hold flags during the demonstrations yesterday 

Mass protest: A picture taken  from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza strip shows Palestinians participating in a tent city protest commemorating Land Day, with Israeli soldiers seen below in the foreground

Mass protest: A picture taken from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza strip shows Palestinians participating in a tent city protest commemorating Land Day, with Israeli soldiers seen below in the foreground

An Israeli drone dropping tear-gas grenades during clashes after protests along the border between Israel and Gaza Strip, in the eastern Beit Hanun town, in the northern Gaza Strip

An Israeli drone dropping tear-gas grenades during clashes after protests along the border between Israel and Gaza Strip, in the eastern Beit Hanun town, in the northern Gaza Strip

Clashes: An injured Palestinian youth is carried by other protesters as they flee during clashes with Israeli forces near the border with Israel east of Jabalia in the Gaza strip

Clashes: An injured Palestinian youth is carried by other protesters as they flee during clashes with Israeli forces near the border with Israel east of Jabalia in the Gaza strip

Anti-Trump: Palestinian protesters burn crossed-out posters depicting US President Donald Trump

Anti-Trump: Palestinian protesters burn crossed-out posters depicting US President Donald Trump

Israel has not reported any casualties among its troops. 

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has declared a day of national mourning and said Israel is fully responsible for the deaths.

He said in a speech: ‘The large number of martyrs and people wounded in peaceful popular demonstrations shows that the international community must intervene to provide protection to our Palestinian people.’

An Israeli military spokesman said Friday’s events were ‘not a protest demonstration’ but ‘organised terrorist activity’.

Casualties: An injured man is carried through the crowd on a stretcher during a protest to mark Land Day - the killing of six Arab Israelis during 1976 demonstrations against Israeli confiscations of Arab land

Casualties: An injured man is carried through the crowd on a stretcher during a protest to mark Land Day – the killing of six Arab Israelis during 1976 demonstrations against Israeli confiscations of Arab land

Bigly angry: The protest will last for six weeks, until the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, another issue being protested in the camp

Bigly angry: The protest will last for six weeks, until the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, another issue being protested in the camp

Protests: Hundreds of people are set to camp near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel in the run-up to the opening of the new US embassy

Protests: Hundreds of people are set to camp near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel in the run-up to the opening of the new US embassy

The spokesman accused Hamas – the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008 – of being behind the protests, and threatened wider military action if they persist.

‘If it continues, we shall have no choice but to respond inside the Gaza Strip against terrorist targets which we understand to be behind these events,’ Brigadier General Ronen Manelis told journalists. 

The six-day protest, in support of Palestinian refugees, began on Land Day when Palestinians commemorate the killing of six unarmed Arab protesters in Israel in 1976. 

A Palestinian protester hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers during a demonstration near the Gaza Strip border with Israel, in eastern Gaza City

A Palestinian protester hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers during a demonstration near the Gaza Strip border with Israel, in eastern Gaza City

Modern protest: A Palestinian youth takes a selfie while an older man chants slogans as he holds a Palestinian flag during protests east of Jabalia in the Gaza strip

Modern protest: A Palestinian youth takes a selfie while an older man chants slogans as he holds a Palestinian flag during protests east of Jabalia in the Gaza strip

A picture taken  from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza strip shows  some of the participants in the  tent city protest commemorating Land Day

A picture taken from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza strip shows  some of the participants in the tent city protest commemorating Land Day

Injured: A young Palestinian man lies on a stretcher following clashes between demonstrators and Israeli forces

Injured: A young Palestinian man lies on a stretcher following clashes between demonstrators and Israeli forces

Protests are set to continue until the US opens a new embassy in Jerusalem in mid-May. 

But the move has spared anger among Palestinians who claim the city’s annexed easter sector as the capital of their future state.   

May 14 will also mark 70 years since the creation of Israel, while Palestinians will commemorate what they call the Nakba, or ‘catastrophe,’ the following day.

Nakba commemorates the more than 700,000 Palestinians who either fled or were expelled from their homes in the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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