Journalist killed by Israeli forces while covering protests

Gaza health officials say a well-known Palestinian journalist has died from a gunshot wound sustained while covering demonstrations near the Israeli border.

It has warned that orders given to soldiers about when to open fire have not been changed, despite a storm of global criticism.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell said in a news conference that Israeli forces were required under worldwide human rights law to use non-violent means "to the extent possible".

Friday's large crowds suggested that Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has ruled Gaza since a 2007 takeover, might be able to keep the momentum going in the next few weeks.

But Palestinians say unarmed protesters were shot while posing no threat.

Israel said around 20,000 people took part in the protests and that they were seeking to breach the border.

Sinwar said Gazans would "break the border and return to our land and pray in Jerusalem".

The blockade has made it increasingly hard for Hamas to govern.

Gaza's economy has been devastated by years of Israeli military attacks and a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Israel argues that Hamas could have ended the suffering of Gaza's two million people by disarming and renouncing violence.

The smoke of burnt tires was meant to block the vision of the Israeli snipers stationed behind the fence, as dozens of protesters have been killed.

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Israeli troops on the other side of the fence responded with tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and water cannons, as well as occasional live fire.

Palestinian militant groups have also dug tunnels under the border fence to smuggle weapons, and to launch attacks.

"We came here because we want dignity", he said before paramedics carried him to an ambulance to be transported to the strip's main hospital. "We are here to tell the occupation that we are not weak".

Yariv Oppenheimer, a member of Peace Now, a non-government organisation in Israel, lamented the deaths and urged the Israeli army to exercise restraint.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday there were "no innocent people" in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after days of protests and clashes left 30 unarmed Palestinians martyred, including a journalist.

Violence spiked again on Friday, when clashes erupted as thousands protested along the border, and nine innocent Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed.

In all, 22 Palestinians were killed in Gaza over the past week, among them 16 involved in last Friday's protests, according to Gaza health officials. Among those hurt were 12 women and 48 minors, the ministry added.

Hamas has meanwhile offered compensation of $3,000 to the families of protesters killed and $500 for those seriously injured, drawing outrage from Israel.

If it fails to do so, the Security Council would become helpless and lose credibility, the ministry said in a statement.

Navy officers say they've used reside hearth exclusively as a final resort when all different options, together with warning pictures and rubber bullets, have didn't cease the demonstrators from reaching the fence.

The riots on the Gaza border, which have drawn tens of thousands of protesters, have featured mass-marches to the Israeli border and attempts to scale the security fence and flood into Israeli territory. Two-thirds of Gaza's residents are descendants of refugees. Rallies are planned to continue through to Nakba Day, the 15 May commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

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