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Israeli Defence Minister claims there are 'no innocent people' in Gaza

On March 30, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians as a protest by tens of thousands led to clashes

AFP | PTI  |  Jerusalem 

Gaza Strip
Beit Hanoun: Relatives mourn during the funeral for Hamdan Abu Amsha, 23, at the family's house in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip | Photo: AP | PTI

Israeli Defence Minister said on Sunday there were "no innocent people" in the Hamas-run Strip after 10 days of protests and clashes left 30 dead.

"There are no innocent people in the Strip," Lieberman told Israel's public radio.

"Everyone's connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas, and all the activists trying to challenge us and breach the border are military wing activists."

has faced mounting questions over its use of live fire after 10 days of protests and clashes along the Strip border in which its forces have killed 30 Palestinians, according to Gazas health ministry.

Violence spiked again on Friday, when clashes erupted as thousands protested along the border, and nine Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed.

On March 30, killed 19 as a protest by tens of thousands led to clashes.

There have been no reported

says it has only opened fire when necessary to stop damage to the border fence, infiltrations and attempted attacks.

It alleges Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, is seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.

But rights groups have harshly criticised Israeli soldiers actions, and say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to troops.

The European Union and UN Secretary-General have called for an independent investigation, which has rejected.

Yesterday, the European Union raised questions over whether Israeli troops engaged in "proportionate use of force".

First Published: Sun, April 08 2018. 15:59 IST