Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after explosive devices found near border

The border fence between the Palestinian enclave and Israel has become the backdrop of mass Gaza demonstrations that lead to deadly clashes. The soldiers can be head in the background swearing at the Palestinians and loudly cheering when the sniper hit and killed his target. After the sound of a gunshot, he falls to the ground. "That son of a b***h", one of the voices behind the camera exclaims in Hebrew.

Responding to the video, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett refused to condemn the soldiers responsible.

Palestinian health officials say at least 31 people have been killed by Israeli fire during the flare-up, including 25 people during protests.

Israel Defense Forces have reportedly identified and questioned the soldiers appearing in a video uploaded to social media, in which they cheer with joy after shooting an apparently unarmed Palestinian on the Gaza border. It shows two Palestinians on the other side of the fence, inching towards it.

The IDF said the man was a main instigator in the clashes and was shot in the leg and wounded after ignoring calls to halt.

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"The sniper deserves a commendation, the photographer a court martial", he said.

Israel has been repeatedly criticized for its excessive use of force against Palestinian civilian protesters, with groups saying the army's actions are criminal and illegal.

The soldiers can be heard laughing when describing the man getting shot, with another soldier calling the video "fabulous".

Thick smoke created by burning tires partially blocked the vision of the protests, but gun shots and shouting could be clearly heard. Other photos captured a Palestinian journalist after he was shot while covering the unrest.

Israel says the protests are a smoke screen for attacks on its troops and attempts to breach the border fence.

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On March 30th, thousands of Palestinians from across the besieged Gaza Strip launched "The Great March of Return", to demand their right to return to their pre-1948 homelands in historic Palestine.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Murtaja was a member of Palestinian resistance group Hamas, without providing evidence to support his claim.

According to Israeli military protocol, all live fire directed at protests requires approval by the most senior leadership in the field, usually on instructions from a brigade commander or battalion commander.

The majority of the people of the Gaza Strip are stateless refugees, subject to a decade long blockade and the denial of basic human and political rights.

"He had no gun, no Molotov, a tire".

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