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The Great March of Return: Palestinian Refugees Defy Israel

Since March 30, Palestinian Land Day, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have set up tents along the northern and eastern border with Israel in a symbolic act to claim their human right as refugees to return to their homeland, a right Israel has denied them for fear of losing its Jewish majority.

Every Friday demonstrators protest near the fence. For three consecutive Fridays Israel has opened fire against unarmed Palestinians. The United Nations human rights agency and human rights organizations in Israel, Palestine and around the world have condemned Israel’s use of lethal force. 

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The Great March of Return began on March 30. Seventeen unarmed Palestinians were killed by sniper fire.
The Great March of Return began on March 30. Seventeen unarmed Palestinians were killed by sniper fire. Photo:Reuters
One hundred Israeli snipers were deployed to the Israeli side of the border on the eve on Palestinian Land Day.
One hundred Israeli snipers were deployed to the Israeli side of the border on the eve on Palestinian Land Day. Photo:Reuters
"Targeted" attacks by Israeli snipers have wounded and killed children.
"Targeted" attacks by Israeli snipers have wounded and killed children. Photo:Reuters
On April 20, Palestinian women will be lead protests with a women march.
On April 20, Palestinian women will be lead protests with a women march. Photo:Reuters
Children have participated as well. Many participants have crafted masks to protect themselves from tear gas.
Children have participated as well. Many participants have crafted masks to protect themselves from tear gas. Photo:Reuters
Yaser Murtaja died during the second Friday protests, after a sniper shot him despite wearing his press jacket.
Yaser Murtaja died during the second Friday protests, after a sniper shot him despite wearing his press jacket. Photo:Reuters
Palestinians pray on a Friday, before protests begin.
Palestinians pray on a Friday, before protests begin. Photo:Reuters
Palestinians burn Israeli flag with portraits of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Palestinians burn Israeli flag with portraits of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. Photo:Reuters
Woman hurls stone at Israeli snipers.
Woman hurls stone at Israeli snipers. Photo:Reuters
On the second day of protests demonstrators burned tires hoping to blur Israeli snipers
On the second day of protests demonstrators burned tires hoping to blur Israeli snipers' vision. Photo:Reuters
Protests will continue until May 15, when they commemorate 70 years since the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their lands.
Protests will continue until May 15, when they commemorate 70 years since the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their lands. Photo:Reuters
Israelis were captured watching and cheering as their armed forces shot, wounded and killed unarmed protesters.
Israelis were captured watching and cheering as their armed forces shot, wounded and killed unarmed protesters. Photo:Reuters
Published 14 April 2018
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