Children used as shields in Gaza protest

The United Nations should condemn Hamas, which is using children as human shields while risking their lives, and must call for the end of provocations which is increasing violence and tensions along the Gaza border with Israel.

This was the call by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon as the death toll climbs to around 30 while Hamas continues with its Marches of Return with the aim to culminate in a planned million-strong march in mid-May.

This will coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, and Nakba Day — when the Palestinians mark what they call the “catastrophe” that befell them with Israel’s creation.

As night fell yesterday on the second protest at the Gaza border, the Israeli army said it had managed to frustrate what it called the terror group’s “manipulative” efforts to breach the border fence and carry out acts of terrorism under the cover of a public protest.

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Around 20,000 Gazans participated in Friday’s demonstration — compared to over 30,000 a week ago — and Palestinian officials said nine people were killed in the course of the day, compared to some 20 a week ago.

The IDF released video footage of Gazans attempting to breach or target the fence under cover of huge plumes of black smoke caused by the burning of tires close to the border, and Israeli television showed footage of what appeared to be teenage Gazans rolling tires close to the border fence.

“What we’re seeing is violent disturbances under cover of which Hamas is trying to carry out acts of terrorism,” said Maj-Gen. Eyal Zamir, the head of the IDF’s Southern Command, terming the tactic “manipulation by Hamas.”

The IDF is maintaining a large deployment of forces at the border, braced for further disturbances in the coming days, and a likely third major demonstration next Friday.

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