The Latest: Palestinians will seek UN probe of Gaza violence

The Latest: Palestinians will seek UN probe of Gaza violence
The Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on the crisis along the Israel-Gaza border (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

The Palestinians say they will be asking the U.N. Human Rights Council to establish a commission to carry out an independent investigation of the Israeli military’s killing and wounding of Palestinians during protests in Gaza.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, said his counterpart in Geneva will start the process early next week that hopefully will culminate in an emergency meeting and approval by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council of a resolution authorizing a commission “to investigate these crimes.”

He told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday that the Palestinians will not accept an investigation that Israel has announced because “it cannot be credible.”

Mansour said an investigation must be independent and transparent, as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and others have called for.

___

7:20 p.m.

The Gaza Health Ministry says two more Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, have been killed by Israeli army fire on the Gaza border.

The deaths bring to four the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces Friday, the fourth weekly protest in the border area.

Some 445 Palestinians were injured in the day’s protests, including 96 who were wounded by Israeli army fire.

Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers have called for a mass rally at the border as part of a weeks-long campaign of protests against a decade-old blockade of the territory.

Israel is closely guarding the fence and warns it will not tolerate attempts to damage the fence or breach it and enter its territory.

It has accused Hamas of using the protests as a cover for carrying out attacks.

Several Israeli communities are located near the border.

___

6:55 p.m.

The Gaza Health Ministry says 445 Palestinians have been wounded in protests on the Gaza-Israel border, including 96 who were wounded by Israeli army fire.

Several thousand Palestinians participated in the protests Friday, the fourth large-scale demonstrations since late March.

Health officials said that two Palestinians were killed by army fire near the border Friday.

The officials say that of those injured Friday, 174 were transferred to hospitals and 271 treated in field clinics. Some of the injured were overcome by tear gas, hit with rubber-coated steel pellets or hit by shrapnel.

___

5:05 p.m.

Israel’s Defense Minister has shrugged off threats by Gaza militants who released a video clip showing army officers through the cross-hairs of a Palestinian sniper.

Avigdor Lieberman was visiting near the Gaza border Friday when asked if he was worried. He answered “you see I arrived here and came without a bullet proof jacket even.” He said he trusts the Israeli army to protect him.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group had released a clip of senior Israeli officers seen through a sniper scope.

Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers have called for a mass rally at the border as part of a weeks-long campaign of protests against a decade-old blockade of the territory.

Israel is closely guarding the fence and warns it will not tolerate attempts to breach it.

___

4:50 p.m.

Gaza’s Health Ministry says 83 Palestinians have been injured in protests on the Gaza-Israel border, including 26 who were wounded by Israeli army fire.

The ministry says 33 of those injured Friday were taken to hospitals and the rest were treated in field clinics. It says some of those hurt were overcome by tear gas.

Health officials said earlier that two Palestinians were killed Friday by Israeli troops firing from across the border fence, but did not provide further details on the circumstances of those shootings. The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the fatal shootings.

Before Friday, 28 Palestinians had been killed and hundreds wounded in weekly mass protests on the border that began in late March.

__

3:45 p.m.

Gaza health officials say a second Palestinian has been killed by Israeli army fire as thousands of protesters assembled near Gaza’s border with Israel.

The Health Ministry says the 24-year-old was killed in a border area in northern Gaza on Friday. Earlier in the day, a 25-year-old man was shot and killed in the same area. It says 40 protesters were wounded by gunfire or overcome by tear gas fired by Israeli troops from across the border fence.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Before Friday, 28 Palestinian protesters had been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli troops during weekly protests that began in late March.

___

2:05 p.m.

The Gaza Health Ministry says a 25-year-old Palestinian has died after being critically wounded by Israeli army fire near Gaza’s border with Israel.

The ministry says the man had been shot in the head. It did not provide details about the circumstances of Friday’s shooting, which came as Palestinians were gathering for a fourth weekly mass protest on the border.

The Israeli military says it’s looking into the incident.

Before Friday, 28 Palestinian protesters had been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli army fire from across the border fence since the protests began in late March.

___

12:50 p.m.

Gaza’s Health Ministry says a Palestinian youth participating in protests on Gaza’s border with Israel has been shot in the head and is in critical condition.

Since weekly mass marches began in late March, 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli army fire from across the border fence.

On Friday, protesters began gathering at sit-in protest camps near the border. In one camp, organizers placed four life-sized effigies of Israeli soldiers in a cage facing the border. Hamas is believed to hold the remains of two soldiers from a previous war with Israel.

On previous Fridays, most protesters stayed in the camps, with smaller groups throwing stones, burning tires and hurling firebombs near the fence.

A new tactic is to send burning kites into Israel.

___

11:15 a.m.

Israeli military aircraft have dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from the Gaza-Israel border fence and warning that they endanger their lives if they follow directives of Hamas organizers of weekly protests there.

The leaflets were dropped on Friday, ahead of what’s to be the fourth large-scale protest, largely organized by Gaza’s rulers from the Islamic militant Hamas, in part to challenge a decade-old border blockade of the territory.

Israel has accused Hamas of using the protests as a cover for carrying out attacks. It has said it will not allow protesters to approach or damage the border fence. Rights groups say orders allowing troops to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters are unlawful.

Since March 30, 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by army fire.

.