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The mass "March of Return" protests are being encouraged by Gaza's rulers, the terror group Hamas, whose leaders say their goal is to erase the border and liberate Palestine.

Sir, - Barry Meyler claims that the Israelis have shot over "1,000 unarmed protesters and killed 42 people" during the current Hamas-organised protests on the Gaza border (May 3rd).

Thusly, the state argues, the actions of Israeli forces were in line with both Israeli and worldwide law.

About 6,800 Palestinians have been wounded during the demonstrations. Among the dead are two Palestinian journalists Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abou Hussein, both men were shot by Israeli army snipers despite pictures showing "PRESS" emblazoned across the front of their protective jackets.

No Israelis have been injured.

On Thursday morning, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported that another Palestinian, 19-year-old Anas Shawqi Abu-Aser, had died of wounds sustained during last week's riot.

The Israeli army's use of live fire during the protests has drawn global criticism and calls for an independent probe - which Israel has rejected.

Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite United Nations resolutions and global law that uphold people's right to return to their homelands.

On 30 March, Palestinians started peaceful demonstrations as part of an activity dubbed the Great March of Return that will culminate on 15 May, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when Zionist militias and terrorist gangs forced up to 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes and established the state of Israel.