Hamas has said the border protests would continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel's creation. IDF soldiers killed 17 of the protestors. While Hamas claimed Monday that 18 had died, the official news agency of the Palestinian Authority had the number at 16.
HAMADA ZAZA: (Foreign language spoken). "I didn't expect to be shot", said the teenager, who was wounded east of Gaza City and insisted he was not throwing stones. He said there's no work. For instance, he said he was jailed for six months for getting into a fight and cursing the name of God.
The mass marches were largely led by Gaza's ruling Hamas group and touted as the launch of a six-week-long protest campaign against a stifling decade-old blockade of the territory.
INSKEEP: OK. Wow. So he's actually critical of Hamas, which encouraged him to protest against Israel, but still he went to this protest and says he ended up wounded by rubber bullets.
"Every single occupation in history will have a justification for its own actions", David Klassen, one of the rally attendees, said, adding that, in his view, the way the current Israeli occupation has reacted to the protest was "way beyond the bounds of reasonable response". And one of the questions here is, who was injured, how many were injured?
The global group Human Rights Watch accused Lieberman and other senior Israeli officials Tuesday of unlawfully calling for the use of live fire against Palestinian protesters who posed no imminent threat to life. Palestinian officials say more than 700 were wounded by live gunfire. There's also a dispute about the deaths. "Anyone who approaches the fence endangers his life, and I would recommend that Gaza residents put their efforts not into protesting against Israel, but into regime change within the Strip", Liberman said during a tour of Israeli communities just outside the coastal enclave. But there were others killed, as well.
Dozens of vendors set up stalls there selling hot drinks of tea and coffee as well as ice cream and sweets, while many families of the Palestinians jailed by Israel went there, waving Palestinian flags toward the Israeli side of the border as if they were sending messages to their relatives imprisoned in Israel.
ESTRIN: Yes. I mean, when I was at the border, I saw someone carrying a slingshot.
In one video, a man later identified as Ibrahim Abu Shanab is seen kneeling on the ground in the first of two rows of worshippers Friday, facing the border fence at a distance of 150 to 200 meters. Hamas has claimed five of its militants killed.
Preparations by both sides for further violence continued in earnest throughout the week, as the IDF called in more reinforcements and redeployed troops to deal with expected trouble spots, while Hamas reportedly planned to expand the riots, both in scope and the number of participants, for this coming Friday.
He said at least 11 of those killed were members of militant groups, including two who opened fire on soldiers near the border, but would not say how the others were killed.
Numerous young victims remained defiant to Israel's warnings as they vowed to return to the scene of protests, as soon as they recovered from the wounds.
INSKEEP: OK. Daniel, thanks very much.
According to media reports, Hamas has asked the Arab League to turn to the International Criminal Court at The Hague with regard to the Gaza deaths.