Tag Archives: protests

Three Palestinians dead amid clashes with Israeli military during 'Great Return' border protests

Three Palestinians dead amid clashes with Israeli military during 'Great Return' border protestsTens of thousands of Gazans gathered at the Israeli border on Saturday to mark a year since protests and clashes erupted there, testing a fragile truce only 10 days ahead of an Israeli general election.   Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, one during an overnight demonstration and two 17-year-olds in clashes later Saturday, the health ministry in Gaza City said. Another 316 Gazans were wounded. Earlier, another Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire in an overnight demonstration ahead of the main protest, the ministry said. Egypt had sought to mediate between Israel and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas to rein in violence and avoid the sort of deadly response from the Israeli army that has accompanied past protests. Clashes so far appeared limited, but warnings to stay far back from the heavily fortified fence that marks the border were not being heeded by all. "We will move towards the borders even if we die," said Yusef Ziyada, 21, his face painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag. Israeli soldiers deploy on the Israel and Gaza border Credit:  Tsafrir Abayov/ AP "We are not leaving. We are returning to our land." Dozens of Palestinians were seen approaching the border fence east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip at around midday (0900 GMT) before retreating as Israeli troops fired tear gas. The protesters threw stones at the Israeli soldiers and burnt tyres. A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl a rock towards Israeli forces Credit: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP Further south, an Egyptian security delegation visited a protest site east of Gaza City. Hamas leader Ismail Haniya also visited the site. The city's mosques used loudspeakers to call on people to attend, and buses shuttled protesters to sites in rainy weather. Israel's army said most demonstrators were remaining away from the fence. Tear gas canisters fall amongst Palestinian protesters during the demonstration Credit:  MAHMUD HAMS/AFP "Approximately 40,000 rioters and demonstrators are currently gathered in several locations along the Gaza Strip security fence," it said in a statement. "The rioters are hurling rocks and setting tyres on fire. In addition, grenades and explosive devices have been hurled at the Gaza Strip security fence in a number of different incidents." It said soldiers were "responding with riot dispersal means and are firing in accordance with standard operating procedures." Israel's army had not commented on the death in the overnight demonstration, but late Friday said explosive devices were thrown at the fence "throughout the evening." A tank "struck a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip" in response, it said. Senior Hamas official Bassem Naim called Saturday's protest "a very important message sent from Gaza today to all parties, mainly the Israelis and the international community". "Gazans today are gathering here, thousands and thousands of people peacefully, to raise their voice against aggression and the imposed siege on Gaza," he told AFP. A Palestinian woman reacts after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces Credit:  REUTERS Protesters were marking the first anniversary of often violent weekly demonstrations in which around 200 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier have been killed. The anniversary comes only days after another severe flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire restored calm. The timing is especially sensitive for Israel, which holds a keenly contested general election on April 9 in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a stiff challenge from centrist former military chief Benny Gantz. He is widely seen as wanting to avoid a major escalation, but has at the same time faced political pressure over accusations of being soft on Hamas. The demonstrators are calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land their families fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war that accompanied Israel's creation. Israel says any such mass return would spell the end of a Jewish state and that its actions have been necessary to defend the border. It accuses Hamas of orchestrating violence, but its soldiers' use of live fire has come under heavy criticism.



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A year of Gaza border protests – key facts

A year of Gaza border protests - key factsThousands of Palestinian protesters gathered along the Gaza-Israel border on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of mass demonstrations for the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The first day, March 30, 2018, saw 20 Palestinians killed across the Gaza Strip. Since then dozens more have been killed during the at least weekly protests.



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Palestinian killed by Israel fire ahead of border protests: Gaza ministry

Palestinian killed by Israel fire ahead of border protests: Gaza ministryA Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border early Saturday, the territory’s health ministry said, hours ahead of planned mass protests. The ministry said Mohammed Saad, 20, died after being hit in the head with shrapnel caused by Israeli army fire east of Gaza City.



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As anniversary looms, Gaza protests bring bloodshed but scarce gains

As anniversary looms, Gaza protests bring bloodshed but scarce gainsPalestinians in Gaza will on Saturday mark a year since mass protests and deadly clashes began along the Israeli border, with a demonstration expected to draw thousands and bring tensions to boiling point. The anniversary falls only days after another severe flare-up between Hamas and Israel, with a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip that sparked retaliatory air strikes. Israel also holds elections on April 9 and is seeking to avoid a major escalation before then.



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Protests after white Pittsburgh cop found not guilty for killing black teen

Protests after white Pittsburgh cop found not guilty for killing black teenPittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the latest U.S. rocked by demonstrators upset over a not-guilty verdict for a white police office who shot an unarmed black teen. Conway G. Gittens



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Protests held in Pittsburgh after cop cleared in shooting

Protests held in Pittsburgh after cop cleared in shootingPITTSBURGH (AP) — The father of a slain black teenager pleaded for peace Saturday after the acquittal of a white police officer triggered an apparent retaliatory shooting at the defense attorney's office and touched off protests in the streets of Pittsburgh.



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Marines commandant protests US border deployments, wall

Marines commandant protests US border deployments, wallAmerica’s top marine warned that deployments to the US-Mexico border and President Donald Trump’s plan for a wall pose an “unacceptable risk” to the force, according to documents revealed Thursday by The Los Angeles Times. In memos addressed to acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan and Navy secretary Richard Spencer, General Robert Neller wrote that he had been forced to cancel or reduce exercises in five countries. Marines will miss exercises in Indonesia, Scotland and Mongolia, and their participation in joint exercises in Australia and South Korea will be reduced, Neller said in the documents dated March 18 and 19.



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Russia accuses Serbian opposition of stoking violence with protests

Russia accuses Serbian opposition of stoking violence with protestsMOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday it was seriously concerned by what it described as attempts by some opposition forces in Serbia to provoke violence during protests in Belgrade over the weekend. Thousands of anti-government protesters staged a rally outside President Aleksandar Vucic's residence on Sunday to press their demands for greater media freedom and free and fair elections, a day after they briefly broke into the state television building. …



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Paris police chief fired over Champs-Elysées riots as French government to ban protests in trouble spots

Paris police chief fired over Champs-Elysées riots as French government to ban protests in trouble spotsThe Paris police chief has been fired for failing to contain violent riots that saw a string of flagship restaurants and shops torched along the French capital’s famed Champs-Elysées. The government announcement came after top security officials acknowledged that attempts by 5,000 police to stop several hundred black-clad rioters running amok along “the world’s most beautiful avenue” for seven hours on Saturday had been an abject “failure”. Nominally part of the ”yellow vest" movement, masked rioters burned down the famous Fouquet's restaurant as well as several newspaper stands, a string of luxury shops and vehicles. The shocking weekend scenes, in which a mother and child narrowly escaped death in a burning building, pose a fresh security headache to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, after four months of “gilet jaunes” protests and amid opposition claims he is a soft touch on hooligans. Caught napping, Mr Macron had rushed back from a ski break to pledge "strong measures” amid calls on social media for fresh violence next Saturday. The Right-wing opposition accused the president of being a soft touch, while police unions said they had not been given sufficiently robust orders to engage with rioters. Paris' police chief is to be replaced for failing to quell riots in the French capital on Saturday Credit: ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP After crisis security talks on Monday, Edouard Philippe, the French prime minister, said: “The strategy for maintaining order was not correctly executed.” As a result, he said Paris police chief Michel Delpuech would be replaced by the current state prefect of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, Didier Lallement. Mr Philippe pledged to ban “yellow vest” demonstrations in the worst-hit areas – including the Champs-Elysées but also squares in the cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse – if police deem they have been infiltrated by ultra-violent trouble makers. In these three areas, police will have “greater autonomy” to disband any groups with the use of“drones” and “marker products” to identity individuals. Fines for those who participate in illegal gatherings will be “significantly increased”. Mr Philippe also promised to beef up Paris’ police’s security doctrine to engage in more “contact” with rioters at the behest of police unions, despite the risk of greater injury. "You have to take responsibility and engage, with the possibility that people will get hurt," said Frederic Lagache of the Alliance police union. France has for decades preferred to tackle mass protests with tear gas and rubber bullets but avoid physical clashes against large groups. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the government decision to replace the Paris police chief and ban "yellow vest" protests in trouble spots Credit:  BERTRAND GUAY/AFP In another potentially controversial move, Mr Philippe effectively backed greater use of “defensive ball launchers”, or LBD, which a top French rights ombudsman and the UN have criticised as too dangerous. Dozens of protesters have been injured by these, including some who claim to have lost an eye after being hit by such rubber projectiles.  One police union said LBDs had been replaced with “marshmallows” to placate such groups, leaving officers exposed against protesters hurling paving stones and other weapons. Mr Philippe said he regretted that “inappropriate orders had been given (on Saturday) to reduce their use”. The new surge in violence came as the four-month-old yellow vest movement demanding economic justice was dying down and a nationwide “great debate” on those demands came to a close. Mr Macron’s participation in a string of discussions had seen his popularity rise after plummeting early on in the protests but commentators said the latest violence risks seeing those gains falter. Some 91 businesses were damaged in last Saturday's riots Last month the French parliament passed an "anti-troublemakers" bill, which will only take effect once the Constitutional Council rubber stamps it. If enacted, it will grant regional prefects powers to prevent people seen as a serious threat to public order from protesting, and would force protesters involved in violence to pay for damage. It would also make it a crime for protesters to conceal their faces, punishable by up to one year in prison and a €15,000 (£13,000) fine. The bill has been criticised by rights groups, opposition members and even members of Mr Macron's centrist party as going too far in restricting freedoms. The Right-wing opposition says it doesn’t go far enough.  The Paris region's Chamber of Commerce said 91 businesses suffered damage in the Champs-Elysées riots. It called for an "emergency plan" to support the those shopkeepers and employees.  The French insurance federation put the figure for claims linked to yellow vest violence over the past four months at €170 million, not counting last Saturday's damage.



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French President Macron considers banning protests on Champs Elysees: official

French President Macron considers banning protests on Champs Elysees: officialFrench President Emmanuel Macron is considering banning all demonstrations on the Champs Elysees after “yellow vest” rioters wrecked the iconic Parisian avenue last weekend, an official from the president’s office said on Monday. On Saturday, protesters related with the “yellow vest” movement burned down the famous Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs Elysees as well as several newspaper stands, a Longchamp luxury goods shop and vehicles. Following Saturday’s riots, that were reminiscent of violent clashes last December on the Champs Elysees between protesters and police, Macron summoned a meeting with the interior and justice ministers on Monday.



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