Palestinian man dies after being shot by Israeli army

Israeli blockade impoverishes Gazans

Palestinian man dies after being shot by Israeli army

Palestinians entered the fourth week of demonstrations in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday, following thousands who participated in the "Great March of Return" since 30 March despite the Israeli army's deadly use of violence.

"Stay away from the fence and do not attempt to harm it", said the leaflets scattered by Israeli aircraft in areas along the border.

Dialogue next to the AFP journalist says: "I came alone, but I don't care if I am used as a human shield".

The Israeli military said that around 3,000 Palestinians were involved in the latest protest, and that its troops responded "with riot dispersal means and are firing in accordance with the rules of engagement".

The claim that Israel indiscriminately shot people or shot peaceful protesters is belied by the fact that the vast majority of Gazans killed at the border were military members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups.

According to Israeli media, kites with Molotov cocktails attached to them had caused several fires, but had not caused injuries. "Instead of constructing schools and hospitals to improve the lives of ordinary Palestinians, Hamas uses scarce resources to build and fire rockets at Israeli civilians and to advance its network of terror tunnels infiltrating into Israeli communities", Schwammenthal said.

During this Friday rally, four Palestinians were killed and at least 450 others injured in clashes between demonstrators and Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip.

"We have no knowledge of any Israeli strike in the area", he said.

The marches also press for the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel. Palestinians observe the day as the "nakba", or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven from their homes.

During protests earlier in April, Israeli forces shot at least six journalists in one day. It has said snipers only target the "main instigators".

The third day of demonstrations on April 13 began with organizers encouraging people to walk on the Israeli flag placed at the protest points near the border.

He said his family asked that he be evacuated from Gaza to receive better treatment in the West Bank or in Israel, but Palestinian authorities told him that Israeli officials refused to let him exit Gaza.

The marches are part of what organizers, led by Hamas, have billed as an escalating showdown with Israel, to culminate in a mass march on May 15. Organisers said they will gradually move the camps toward the fence until May 15, but have made conflicting comments about a possible mass border breach.

More than two million Palestinians are packed into the narrow coastal enclave.

The border blockade has trapped almost all of them in the tiny coastal territory, gutted the economy and deepened poverty.

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