Palestinian shot dead, border crossing torched as Gazans clash with Israeli forces
Posted May 11, 2018 4:12 p.m. EDT
Updated May 11, 2018 5:15 p.m. EDT
JERUSALEM (CNN) — One Palestinian was killed and hundreds injured by Israeli forces on Friday during protests along the border of Israel and Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Jaber Abu Mustafa, 40, was shot in the chest and killed near Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, the ministry said. More than 730 others were injured.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Twitter that 15,000 Palestinians took part in what it described as riots along the fence that separates Israel from Gaza.
"The rioters hurled pipe bombs, rocks, & grenades, sabotaged security infrastructure, & burned tires," the IDF said.
Dozens of Palestinian youths set fire to the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the only point where goods enter Gaza from Israel. Gas pipelines at the crossing, bringing fuel into the coastal enclave, were damaged, the army said.
This is the seventh straight week that Palestinians have participated in the "March of Return" along the border fence with Israel.
Palestinians are calling for an end to Israel's blockade of the territory and their right to return to lands their families fled or were expelled from during Israel's founding seven decades ago.
Israel says the demonstrations are orchestrated by Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.
Abu Mustafa is the latest Palestinian to be killed during the protests. Since they began in March, more than 50 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, according to a CNN count based on figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
No Israeli soldiers have been killed or injured.
Palestinians and human rights organizations accuse Israel of using excessive and illegal force on what they described as mostly peaceful protesters.
The IDF said on Friday that forces are "responding with riot dispersal means and are firing in accordance with the rules of engagement."
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, has urged Israeli forces and Palestinians to exercise restraint, saying "demonstrations and protests must be allowed to proceed in a peaceful manner. Civilians, particularly children, must not be intentionally put in danger or targeted in any way."