MNA International Desk: Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, bringing to 35 the death toll in recent weeks among Palestinian protesters demanding the right to return to their former homeland.
Gazans used catapults and sling-shots to launch stones at Israeli forces, and some Palestinians brought wire-cutters to cut through the border fence, ignoring leaflets dropped by the Israeli military warning residents not to approach the frontier.
The deaths included a 15-year-old boy shot dead in northern Gaza, Palestinian health officials said, adding that 156 people were wounded by Israeli gunfire.
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov wrote on Twitter: “It is outrageous to shoot at children! How does the killing of a child in Gaza today help peace? It doesn’t! It fuels anger and breeds more killing. Children must be protected from violence, not exposed to it.”
In response, a retired former Israeli army spokesman, Peter Lerner, tweeted suggestions to Mladenov, including: “Please go to Gaza, engage Hamas and get them to stop sending people to the fence.”
The planned six-week protest campaign reached its half-way point on Friday, which saw smaller crowds than in recent weeks. As the numbers peaked during the afternoon Israeli soldiers called out warnings in Arabic over loudspeakers to anyone who approached the border fence, reported news agency.