Jerusalem (CNN)Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinian men during protests along the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Israeli forces kill three Palestinians amid protests along Gaza border, says Palestinian Ministry of Health
Abdul Salam Baker, 29, was shot and killed near Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, the ministry said. Hospitals received the bodies of two other men, the ministry said. Both are currently unidentified.
Nearly 150 Palestinians were injured by live fire in the demonstrations Friday, according to the ministry.
The Israeli army said in a statement Friday that 10,000 Palestinians took part in what it called riots in five locations along the fence that separates Gaza from Israel, and that hundreds attempted to enter Israel by burning the fence adjacent to the now-disused Karni border crossing point.
"Rioters approached the security fence and hurled explosive devices, grenades, firebombs and rocks and tried to light the security fence on fire," the statement said.
This is the fifth straight Friday that Palestinians have participated in the "March of Return" along the border fence with Israel.
They are calling for an end to Israel's blockade of the territory and say they want to highlight their right to return to lands their families fled or were expelled from when Israel was founded 70 years ago.
Since the protests began, 45 Palestinians have been killed, according to a CNN count, based on figures provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
No Israeli soldiers have been killed or injured.
Israel says Hamas is playing a leading role in the protests. Last week, the Israeli military dropped leaflets over parts of Gaza, in which it accused the militant group of exploiting the protests to pursue its own interests.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said earlier this month that the Israeli military's responses were "unlawful violations of international law and international humanitarian law."
In recent weeks, 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council have supported statements calling for an independent inquiry into violence along the Israel-Gaza border. In each case, the United States has been the sole member to block the statements from being issued.