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Israel threatens expanding into Gaza following Land Day protests  - Daily News Egypt

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Israel threatens expanding into Gaza following Land Day protests 

17 Palestinians were killed, 1,400 wounded during Great Return March

Palestinians began a mass strike on Saturday, as well as a national mourning after Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians during marches on Land Day, close to Gaza’s borders with Israel.

The mass strike includes all commercial and educational institutions, including schools and universities, as well as banks.

On Saturday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that more than 1,400 people in the Gaza Strip were wounded after Israeli forces fired live ammunition and used tear gas against protesters who were commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Land Day dubbed the Great Return March.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assigned responsibility for the violence to Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is preserving its sovereignty and citizens.

The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, Ronen Manelis, accused Hamas of using the demonstrations to launch attacks on Israel to ignite the region. Manelis warned that if demonstrations cease, Israeli forces may enter Gaza.

Furthermore, the United States blocked a UN Security Council draft statement which called for an investigation into the Friday demonstrations that resulted in the death of 17 Palestinians. The statement was drafted by Kuwait.

For his part, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into the Friday incidents.

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