UN: 32 Palestinians killed, 3000 injured in 2 weeks of Protests on Gaza-Israel border

Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth who was shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Friday, April 13, 2018. (AP)
Updated 13 April 2018
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UN: 32 Palestinians killed, 3000 injured in 2 weeks of Protests on Gaza-Israel border

  • Large numbers of protestors are expected to gather in five spots along the border after prayers on Friday afternoon.
  • Israeli forces have killed 33 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others since protests began on March 30.

Gaza: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian and wounded  more than 900 during a large protest on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday in which demonstrators hurled stones and burning tyres near the frontier fence, Palestinian medics said.
Some in the Gaza crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device, according to the Israeli military.
Thousands of Palestinians arrived at tented camps near the frontier as a protest dubbed “The Great March of Return” - evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel - moved into its third week.
Israeli troops have shot dead 30 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing international criticism of the lethal tactics used against them.
An Israeli military spokesman said troops were being confronted by rioters and "responding with riot dispersal means while also firing in accordance with the rules of engagement".
On Friday, groups of youths waved Palestinian flags and burnt hundreds of tyres and Israeli flags near the fenced-off border after Friday prayers. At one camp east of Gaza City, youths carried on their shoulders a coffin wrapped in an Israeli flag bearing the words "The End of Israel".
Israel has declared a no-go zone close to the Gaza border fence, and deployed army sharpshooters along it.
No Israelis have been killed during the demonstrations, and human rights groups say the Israeli military has used live fire against demonstrators who pose no immediate threat to life.
Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the protesters getting across the fence.
The planned six-week protest has revived a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages from which their families fled, or were driven out, when the state of Israel was created 70 years ago.
The protest began on March 30, and is expected to culminate on May 15.


Turkey blocked from US F-35 program after Russian missile purchase

Updated 55 min 43 sec ago
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Turkey blocked from US F-35 program after Russian missile purchase

  • “The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program"

WASHINGTON: The United States said on Wednesday that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move that had been long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week.
The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to the Murted military air base northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia, which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.
“The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program,” said Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
“The United States is spending between $500 and $600 million in non-recurring engineering in order to shift the supply chain,” she said.
Used by NATO and other US allies, the F-35 stealth fighter jet is the world’s most advanced jet fighter. Washington is concerned that deploying the S-400 with the F-35 would allow Russia to gain too much inside information of the stealth system.
“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.
Washington has long said the acquisition may lead to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program.
The Pentagon had already laid out a plan to remove Turkey from the program, including halting any new training for Turkish pilots on the advanced aircraft.
“The situation with Turkey is a government-to-government matter and we’ll comply with any guidance issued by the United States Government,” said a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin Corp. , the prime contractor on the jet.