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Victims of Israel-Gaza violence to be laid to rest

Among the victims was a video journalist and two teenage boys aged 16 and 17.

FILE: Palestinian men burn tyres during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 6 April 2018. Picture: AFP.

JERUSALEM - Funerals are being held across the Gaza Strip for 10 people killed in Friday’s clashes with Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Gaza border fence.

Among the victims was a video journalist and two teenage boys aged 16 and 17.

A war of words between the sides continues to escalate as each blames the other for the ongoing violence.

The Israeli government accuses Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, for instigating the protest and encouraging Palestinians to commit acts of violence, while Hamas has been praising those who protest what it calls the enemy that besieges Gaza.

Right now, the situation along the border fences is calm although tensions are still running high.

Israel’s response to the protest has drawn international criticism.

Human right groups accused soldiers of using live fire against demonstrators posing no immediate threat, Israel disputes this.

It has also ruled out calls for an international investigation.

The demonstrators have revived a long-standing demand for the right of the return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages from where the family fled or where driven from when the state of Israel was created.

The Israeli government has ruled out any right of return, fearing that the country would lose its Jewish majority.