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Israel kills Palestinians as March of Return continues

Israeli forces stand guard as they close the Damascus Gate of the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds to pedestrians, on August 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

At least three Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces in separate incidents on Friday as tensions continue in the occupied Palestinian territories following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

Israeli scurity forces killed two Palestinians and wounded scores of others who had taken part in weekly protests in the Gaza Strip.

In the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds, Israeli security shot dead a Palestinians after an alleged stabbing attack near a mosque complex.

Some 20,000 Gazans participated in Friday's protests, which took place a few hundred meters from the Israeli fence. Medics said Israeli gunfire killed two men and wounded at least 270 other Palestinians, 50 of them with live bullets.

The deaths brought to 170 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the weekly protests began on March 30, according to a report by Reuters.

The campaign is pressing for rights to land that Palestinians lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its foundation, and for an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.

The alleged stabbing attack involved a 30-year-old Palestinian who had reportedly approached a group of Israeli forces standing outside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and apparently tried to stab one of the officers.

The alleged stabber was then neutralized by Israeli soldiers, and was confirmed dead shortly afterwards.

Palestinian witnesses, requesting anonymity, said Israeli forces closed four doors to the mosque compound in the wake of the alleged stabbing attack, and sealed off Damascus Gate area as well.

Palestinian protesters throw stones toward Israeli forces during clashes following a weekly demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on August 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem al-Quds on December 6 last year has triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

On December 21 last year, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”

In an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at the UN Security Council.

Palestinian paramedics carry an injured protester during demonstrations at the border between the Gaza Strip and occupied territories, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

On June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions.

The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”

It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”

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