Responding to the demonstrations, Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians at the border fence that separates Israel from Gaza. More than 1,000 Palestinians were injured. It was the worst violence since the Gaza war of 2014.
Israel has a right to defend itself and maintain civil order, but it also has an obligation to respect peaceful protests and not use live ammunition on unarmed demonstrators. Israel’s response appears to have been excessive, as human rights groups have asserted.
.. Shlomo Brom, a retired brigadier general at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, told The Times that while the military probably decided to use lethal force as a deterrent, “In my opinion they should have planned from the beginning to use minimal force and to prevent casualties.”
.. Competing videos told competing stories. The Israeli version appeared to show a Hamas fighter shooting at Israeli forces while other Palestinians were seen hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence. Palestinian videos on social media appeared to show unarmed protesters being shot by Israelis.
.. the United States on Saturday blocked a move in the United Nations Security Council calling for such an inquiry. The European Union has also urged an independent investigation.
.. More than two-thirds of Gazans are refugees from villages that have since been destroyed and their descendants.