Malaysia calls for swift action over Palestinian issue

Malaysia calls for swift action over Palestinian issue

Rights groups condemned Israel's excessive use of force against protesters, who were participating in "The Great March of Return", a weeks-long planned protest during which Gazans have demanded their right to return to their original homelands inside present day Israel.

The death toll from March 30's attack along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel rose by one to 18 on April 2 when the health ministry in the enclave confirmed another Palestinian had died from his wounds.

Land Day is an annual Palestinian commemoration of six Arab Israeli citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976, during demonstrations against government land confiscations in northern Israel.

Israel's defense minister had previously rejected global calls for an independent investigation.

Hamas said the lack of a resolution from the Security Council about the border clashes due to the US rejection showed that Washington is "fully biased" for Israel and said it was "encouraging Israel to commit more violence and terrorism against Palestinian children".

The protests are in support of Palestinian refugees returning to lands they fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

"The large crowds reflect the Palestinian people's determination to achieve the right of return and break the siege, and no force can stop this right", Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

The protests involved giant tent cities set up within a few hundred yards of the border, with thousands marched up close to the Israeli lines.




It added that Israeli soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters but no injuries were reported.

Human rights groups have accused the Israeli army of using excessive force, and both the United Nations secretary-general and the EU's foreign policy chief have urged an investigation.

However, the military's open-fire policies came under more scrutiny as two amateur videos emerged purportedly showing two Palestinians being shot-one killed and one wounded-while not posing any apparent threat to soldiers.

Hamas said five of the dead were members of its armed wing.

There were no casualties among Israelis.

But video from the scene showed at least a handful of incidents in which people appear to have been shot either far from the border or while they were not actively protesting. Still, on Sunday, dozens of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv against the violence, criticizing Israel for its response.

But the US has, under President Donald Trump, unilaterally declared Jerusalem al-Quds the "capital" of Israel, a highly controversial move condemned by Palestinians and most world countries alike.

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