Ha­mas ad­mits most Is­rael demo vic­tims were its sup­port­ers

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Larisa Brown

MOST of the pro­test­ers killed by Is­raeli fire this week were mem­bers of Ha­mas, the mil­i­tant or­gan­i­sa­tion claimed yes­ter­day.

Just hours later, Is­rael car­ried out airstrikes on Ha­mas sites in Gaza.

A se­nior Ha­mas mem­ber said 50 of the 58 Pales­tini­ans killed in protests on the border were mem­bers of the group, although of­fi­cials said they were demon­strat­ing peace­fully.

The Is­raeli mil­i­tary said its overnight air strikes were in re­sponse to ma­chine gun fire from the Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory that hit a build­ing in the Is­raeli city of Sderot.

How­ever, no troops were wounded in Wed­nes­day’s ex­change.

The army said planes had bom­barded a mil­i­tary com­pound and a weapons pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in the north­ern Gaza Strip. The Pales­tinian health min­istry said a man was mod­er­ately wounded by shrap­nel, but didn’t say whether he was in­side a mil­i­tant site or nearby.

Is­raeli fire killed dozens of Pales­tini­ans on Mon­day dur­ing a protest along the Gaza border. Se­nior Ha­mas of­fi­cial Salah Bar­dawil said 50 of those killed were mem­bers of the mil­i­tant group. But he did not spec­ify whether they were mem­bers of its armed or po­lit­i­cal wing.

An­other Ha­mas of­fi­cial said the vic­tims were demon­strat­ing peace­fully, while the Ha­mas-run health min­istry said eight were chil­dren.

Tens of thou­sands have protested along Gaza’s border with Is­rael since March 30, calling for Pales­tinian refugees to be able to re­turn to their homes now in­side Is­rael.

The largest demon­stra­tions co­in­cided with the move of the US em­bassy in Is­rael from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Mon­day. The death toll led to global con­dem­na­tions of Is­rael and calls for an in­de­pen­dent probe. But Is­rael in­sisted its ac­tions were nec­es­sary to stop mass in­fil­tra­tions from the block­aded Pales­tinian en­clave con­trolled by Ha­mas.

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