The death toll of “The Great March of Return” rises to 17 on Monday, hours after the occupation military said it would not “change firing policy.”
A Palestinian succumbed to his wounds Monday three days after being shot by IOF during the Friday march, raising the death toll to 17.
Faris al-Raqib, 29, was shot in the stomach during Friday’s protest east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, Palestinian Health Ministry said on Monday.
Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli occupation forces said they had no intention of changing its open-fire policy in confrontations with Gazans approaching the border fence, or to reexamine the effectiveness of soldiers opening fire at demonstrators near the border, Haaretz Israeli daily reported.
“The policy will remain in place despite the killing of 15 Palestinians involved in riots there on Friday,” Haaretz quoted military sources as saying on Sunday.
The six-week mass protest, dubbed “The Great March of Return” started Friday in Gaza along the border with the occupied territories. The Palestinians staged the protest to stress on their right of return to their occupied land, and six weeks ahead of a planned transfer of US embassy from Tel Aviv into Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Also on Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected calls by the EU and the UN to investigate the Friday killings, declaring instead that occupation forces “deserve a commendation.”
Lieberman said there is “no need for an inquiry” into the deaths of at least 16 unarmed Palestinians.
“From the standpoint of the (IOF) soldiers, they did what had to be done,” Lieberman told Israeli public radio on Sunday, according to the Guardian. “I think that all of our troops deserve a commendation.”
Earlier, UN Secretary General António Guterres and the top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini have called for independent inquiries into the bloodshed.
Source: Agencies and Israeli media