Israeli airstrike hits Gaza; Palestinian man reported killed

Killing of Palestinian journalist protested in Istanbul

Israeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing global criticism of their lethal tactics.

At least two Palestinian journalists were injured while covering mass protests on the Gaza border on April 13, 2018, according to the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS), the journalists' employers, and news reports.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said Friday's events showed that Israel's attempts to "change the reality" have failed. Some in the crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device and tried to cross into Israel, according to the Israeli military.

On Friday, groups of youths waved Palestinian flags and burnt hundreds of tyres and Israeli flags near the fenced-off border after Friday prayers.

"Some people believe we are idiots to think the Israelis will allow us in, they may not, but we will not stop trying to return", said a protester, 37-year-old civil servant Ahmed, as he stood on a hilltop overlooking the Israeli fence.

Some burnt large Israeli flags and torched tyres, whilst soldiers fired tear gas and live bullets from across the border fence.

The company Murtaja co-founded had been vetted for U.S. government funding, while an worldwide journalists federation said he was harassed and beaten by Hamas police in 2015.

Hamas officials have said in recent days they want this week's protest to see less bloodshed and hope to keep momentum building for May 14, when the United States is expected to move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The protests, planned to last six weeks, are calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes, now inside Israel.

In total, 528 Palestinians were wounded, with 122 protestors by live Israeli army fire.

The explosions comes a day after a third Friday of protests along the Gaza-Israel border.

One protester was injured in the central Gaza Strip, while another was injured during protests east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said four of its members were killed in an apparent accidental blast in the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers also injured 11 Palestinians after the army attacked protesters in Kafr Qalil, in the city of Nablus.

They will culminate on 15 May, the 70th annual commemoration of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of their people in the war which followed Israel's creation in 1948.

Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's centrist Yesh Atid party, called Hamas a "despicable terror organization" and accused it of exploiting civilians. The UN, under the coordination of OCHA, continues to provide a number of critical health facilities in the Gaza Strip, including public hospitals, with emergency fuel to run back-up generators.

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