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Funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces underway in Gaza

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 wounded in the ensuing violence between protestors and soldiers.

Palestinian protesters run for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration commemorating Land Day, near the border with Israel, east of Gaza City, on 30 March 2018. Picture: AFP.

JERUSALEM - Funerals have begun across the Gaza Strip for the 17 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on Friday.

Violence broke out after tens of thousands of Palestinians marched near the Israel-Gaza border to mark the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

In honour of those killed, the Palestinian Authority has declared Saturday a day of “national mourning”.

Tens of thousands of Gazans participated in the so-called “March of Return,” making it one of the largest Palestinian public protests in the past decade.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 wounded in the ensuing violence between protestors and soldiers.

Adalah, a legal centre for Palestinian rights in Israel, is condemning the Israeli army's use of force, calling it a “brutal violation” of international law.

But the Israeli army says it was protecting the country's borders and had earlier warned protestors there would be zero tolerance for those trying to cross the border fence.

Friday was the first day of what is anticipated to be a six-week non-violent Palestinian protest and both sides are bracing for more violence.

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