Senior Israeli officials have defended the killing of Palestinians in recent weeks—and have threatened even more violence.
Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed the outcry at the killing of seven more people last Friday after tens of thousands joined a second mass protest.
Soldiers once again shot at protesters with live ammunition and rubber coated steel bullets despite worldwide uproar at their killing of protesters the previous week.
At least 29 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since protests in the Gaza Strip began at the end of last month.
Well over 1,000 more have been injured—many of them shot in the legs—leaving Gaza’s hospitals struggling to cope.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have joined the mass demonstrations.
They are demanding an end to Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip and the right to return to the land Palestinians were expelled from in 1948.
Their heroic resistance is part of six weeks of planned protests leading up to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe, on 15 May.
It marks the anniversary of the foundation of Israel by the theft of Palestinian land and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of people.
Two teenagers and one journalist were among those killed on Friday.
No Israelis have been killed or injured, despite media reports describing the protests as “clashes”.
Lieberman justified the attacks on protesters after United Nations human rights high commissioner Liz Throssell condemned the “deplorable killings”.
Lieberman said Israeli soldiers “did what had to be done” and added, “All our troops deserve a commendation.”
He also dismissed the killing of the photographer Yasser Murtaja, who was shot in the stomach while wearing a blue vest clearly labelled “Press”.
“I don’t know who he is, a photographer, not a photographer—whoever operates drones above IDF soldiers needs to understand that he is endangering himself,” said Lieberman.
The Israeli military later confirmed that Yasser had not been flying a drone when he was killed.
Israeli planes also bombed the Gaza Strip on Monday, striking what it said was a military base owned by resistance group Hamas.
It claims this was in response to attempts by three people to plant crude makeshift bombs along the border fence that keeps Palestinians trapped inside Gaza.
Israeli officials have recently talked up the possibility of a new war on Gaza—and of stepping up its attacks on Palestinian protesters.
Jailed teenager harassed by Israeli soldier
An Israeli soldier sexually harassed jailed Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi and threatened her family during her interrogation, a lawyer has claimed.
Video of an interrogation seen by Ahed’s lawyer and US news website the Daily Beast shows a male interrogator “flirting in an overbearing and intimidating manner” with her. During Ahed’s two-hour interrogation the man, wearing a gun, tells her “You have eyes like an angel” and compares her to his sister.
As Ahed remains silent the man threatens to arrest her friends and siblings.
“I don’t want to bring those children here,” he tells her. “I pray that you take the easy way. You don’t want me to speak with those children, right?”