1 dead, dozens hurt by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

A Palestinian demonstrator uses a slingshot to hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes at a protest near the Gaza Israel border

The Palestinian health ministry said a teenage boy died Saturday after he was shot in the head by Israeli fire on the Gaza-Israel border. "The crossing will remain closed until the damage caused by the riots are repaired and will reopen in accordance with a situation assessment", the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter, adding that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved "the recommendation to close the crossing". Defending its conduct, Israel says it only opens fire "below the knee" when necessary to stop infiltrators, attacks and damage to the border fence, while accusing Hamas of hijacking the protests as a cover to enact violence. Later, a group of Palestinians burned a fuel complex and conveyor belt on their side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, causing more than $9 million in damages and disrupting the import of diesel fuel and building materials, the military said.

It was unclear to some Gaza residents why the demostrators chose to attack the terminal.

Friday's death brought to 41 the number of protesters killed since March 30.

Witnesses said Israeli forces on the other side of the fence had added reinforcements, including cement slabs, as protective cover.

Conricus said the tunnel was approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles) long and had been under construction for several months.

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot during a protest demanding the right to return to their historic homeland in what is now Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 4, 2018.

On Friday, thousand of Palestinians gathered along the Israel-Gaza frontier.

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Friday's demonstration was dubbed "Preparedness and Foreboding Friday", in anticipation of the final protest of the march early next week.

The protesters have been calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees forced from their homes in present-day Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Lauded by many in Israel and seen as a unique achievement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the U.S. decision was received with hostility and rage in the Arab world, especially among the Palestinians who began "Days of Rage" to express their displeasure with the move.

In an Instagram post with a picture of herself touching the Western Wall during her visit last May, she wrote, "With great joy, I am returning to Jerusalem". While the official date is May 15, the protest is scheduled for May 14, to avoid conflicting with the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza.

The protest came just three days ahead of what the leader of Gaza's ruling Hamas group has said will be a march by tens of thousands who could burst through the border fence into Israel. Forty protesters were killed and more than 1,700 wounded by Israeli troops since late March.

Egypt opens the crossing from time to time, mainly to allow people in special categories, including medical patients and Gaza residents studying overseas, to leave the territory or return to it. Israel says this is vital to prevent Hamas - which has fought three rounds of conflict against Israel since seizing Gaza, firing thousands of rockets into Israel and digging dozens of attack tunnels under the border - from importing weaponry. Helping reinforce the Israeli blockade, Egypt has kept the Rafah crossing point, Gaza's main gate to the outside world, closed most of the time since the Hamas takeover.

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