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UN rights official to Israel: Avoid excessive force in Gaza

UN rights official to Israel: Avoid excessive force in Gaza
The Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force against Palestinians who have been staging weekly mass protests on the Gaza border with Israel.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein made his appeal ahead of a fifth round of Gaza marches on Friday, aimed in part at trying to break a decade-long blockade of the territory.

The commissioner says Israel has not heeded warnings by the U.N. and others, after troops used lethal force against unarmed protesters, killing 35 Palestinians and wounding more than 1,500.

Since late March, thousands have demonstrated near the border every Friday, some throwing stones or burning tires. Israel says Gaza’s rulers from the militant Hamas group are using protests as cover for attacks on the border, including by planting explosives.

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