GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – The Latest on the crisis along the Israel-Gaza border (all times local):
Gaza’s Health Ministry says a Palestinian youth participating in protests on Gaza’s border with Israel has been shot in the head and is in critical condition.
Since weekly mass marches began in late March, 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli army fire from across the border fence.
On Friday, protesters began gathering at sit-in protest camps near the border. In one camp, organizers placed four life-sized effigies of Israeli soldiers in a cage facing the border. Hamas is believed to hold the remains of two soldiers from a previous war with Israel.
On previous Fridays, most protesters stayed in the camps, with smaller groups throwing stones, burning tires and hurling firebombs near the fence.
A new tactic is to send burning kites into Israel.
Israeli military aircraft have dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from the Gaza-Israel border fence and warning that they endanger their lives if they follow directives of Hamas organizers of weekly protests there.
The leaflets were dropped on Friday, ahead of what’s to be the fourth large-scale protest, largely organized by Gaza’s rulers from the Islamic militant Hamas, in part to challenge a decade-old border blockade of the territory.
Israel has accused Hamas of using the protests as a cover for carrying out attacks. It has said it will not allow protesters to approach or damage the border fence. Rights groups say orders allowing troops to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters are unlawful.
Since March 30, 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by army fire.