'No innocent people in Gaza' says Israeli defence minister

The numbers were down from the previous Friday, when tens of thousands approached the border in demonstrations that saw Israeli forces kill 19 Palestinians, making it the bloodiest day in Gaza since a 2014 war.

At least nine Palestinians were killed by the Israeli troops and about 500 wounded in the second mass protest along the Gaza border on Friday.

Palestinian news agency Maan said that an Israeli tank fired twice towards the Strip, however the Israeli military said it only used small arms fire.

There were no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties.

The Israeli army has not yet commented on Murtaja's death, saying only that it had stopped several attempts to breach the border fence and had acted "in accordance with the rules of engagement".

"The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) uses means such as warnings, riot dispersal means, and as a last resort firing live rounds in a precise, measured way", it said Saturday. He added that 1,354 people were wounded, including 491 by ammunition and explosives.

Also in Australia, almost 1,000 demonstrators joined a protest rally in Melbourn dubbed "Free Palestine" to censure Israeli regime's brutal violence - including live fire - used against Palestinian protesters in occupied territories in recent days. Teiby and other Palestinian members of the Knesset have also called for opening a probe into the killing of photojournalist Yasser Mortagy and the injury of other photographers during the protests of the "Great March of Return".

In a statement on Saturday, the Palestinian ministry said 79 injured Palestinians were in a serious condition.

Unemployment stands at 50 percent and there are recurrent shortages of power and medical supplies.

The killings of demonstrators, including one journalist, elicited criticism from the United Nations, EU and elsewhere.

Eight Palestinians in Gaza were killed by Israeli forces in the month of December alone while protesting Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mr Regev and those he represents perhaps need to understand that it is possible to recognise and defend the state of Israel as a legal entity, with all that this entails in terms of its sovereignty and integrity, without remaining silent about its abuses of human rights and of worldwide law.

Five Israelis - three settlers and two soldiers - were killed by Palestinians in the West Bank during the same period.

  • Rogelio Becker