European Union asks whether Israel used 'proportionate' force in Gaza


The Gaza health ministry said one protester had been killed by Israeli forces on Friday and 80 others wounded.

Observers sought an global investigation into the war crimes and said that the use of lethal force by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) against unarmed civilians and those protected under worldwide law is a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

OHCHR said the 16 people in Gaza were killed by live fire during protests, with reports indicating that of the more than 1,000 others injured, and hundreds were also hit by live ammunition.

Palestine solidarity and anti-Israeli protest rallies were also waged in major Canadian city of Vancouver, where hundreds of protesters marched for hours across the city center, waving signs and shouting slogans condemning Israeli atrocities against Palestinian protesters and calling for a free Palestine.

FILE COPY Israeli border police hold a position during clashes with Palestinian protestors near the Qalandia checkpoint in the Israeli occupied West Bank as protests continue following the U.S. president's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Organisers of the "March of Return" - including Hamas - have called for peaceful protests, with large crowds taking part in the demonstrations.

The Israeli military has said it fired only at "instigators" involved in attacks on soldiers and was investigating Murtaja's death amid a very hectic environment.

Smaller groups, mostly young men, rushed forward, throwing stones, hurling firebombs or burning tires and drawing Israeli fire. He said it will encourage Israel to continue with its onslaught against the civilian population in Gaza.

Israel argues that Hamas could have ended the suffering of Gaza's two million people by disarming and renouncing violence.

"Israeli forces should exercise maximum restraint, and Palestinians should avoid friction at the Gaza fence", he said.

The dead included Palestinian video journalist Yasser Murtaja. "The target was very clearly journalists", he said.

The mass protests are perhaps Hamas' last chance to break a border blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007, without having to succumb to demands that it disarm.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Saudi and Egyptian officials had opened contacts with Hamas leaders to call for an end to the weekly protests in Gaza.

Photos showed demonstrators running from tear gas fired by Israeli forces. And yet, only Palestinians reportedly suffered injuries and deaths.

As such, the IDF has said that it has thwarted the infiltration attempts and are responding with riot dispersal means, including water cannons to put out the fires, a huge fan to disperse the smoke and live fire in accordance with rules of engagement.