Funerals start for 17 Palestinians killed by Israel army on Land Day

Funerals start for 17 Palestinians killed by Israel army on Land Day
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Palestinians run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes, during a tent city protest along the Israel border with Gaza, demanding the right to return to their homeland, east of Gaza City March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Gaza: Funerals of 17 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces have started. Thousands of Palestinians had marched near Gaza border with Israel to mark the 42nd anniversary of Land Day, demanding the right to return from refugees. Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel pellets and tear gas wounding hundreds and killing 17.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than 1,400 others were wounded at the demonstration. Among those who killed there were Mohammed Najjar, 25, was shot in the stomach; Mahmoud Muammar, 38, and Mohammed Abu Omar, 22, were both shot dead in Rafah. Ahmed Odeh, 19, Jihad French, 33, Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, 33, Abdelfattah Abdelnabi, 19, Ibrahim Abu Shaar, 20, Abdelqader al-Hawajiri, Hamdan Abu Amsheh, Jihad Abu Jamous, Bader al-Sabbagh and Naji Abu Hjair, whose ages remain unknown.

Also Read: 16 Palestinians martyred in Israeli firing

“Schools, universities, as well as all government institutions, across the country will be off on Saturday, as per President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to declare a day of national mourning for the souls of the martyrs,” a statement issued on Friday said.

What other countries said:

The UN Security Council, on Kuwait’s request, held an emergency meeting late Friday but could not agree on a joint statement. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an “independent and transparent investigation” and reaffirmed “the readiness” of the world body to revitalise peace efforts.

Al Jazeera reported, the government of Jordan released a statement putting Israel responsible for the deaths of Palestinian protesters. The Turkish and Qatar governments released similar statements, condemning Israel’s force.

“As an occupying power, Israel bears responsibility for what happened in Gaza today, as a result of the Israeli violation of the Palestinian right to protest peacefully and the use of excessive force against them,” said the spokesperson of Jordan government, Mohammad al-Momani.