Human rights group urges permanent UN presence in Gaza


An worldwide human rights group late Saturday called on the United Nations to have a "permanent" presence in the "Great March of Return" protests along the Gaza-Israel borders, which this year have seen at least 39 Palestinians martyred by Israeli forces.

Malaysian authorities said an autopsy was carried out Sunday morning on the body of Hamas member Fadi al-Batsh, a day after the drive-by shooting that Hamas and the victim's family blamed on Israel.

A Palestinian protester hurls stones at Israeli troops during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel.

Zahid said Batsh was active in pro-Palestinian non-governmental organisations and could have been seen as "a liability for a country that is an enemy of Palestine".

Israeli soldiers are positioned on the other side of the border fence, including snipers taking cover behind earthen berms, and none have been hurt.

Since March 30, when the demonstrations began, 39 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 4,000 others injured in Israeli attacks.

As Israel has improved its defenses against rocket attacks and improved its ability to detect and destroy tunnels used by Hamas militants to enter Israel to conduct guerrilla attacks, Hamas has sought new weapons, Israeli defense analysts say.

It added: "Stay away from the fence and do not attempt to harm it; avoid using weapons and committing violent acts against Israeli security forces and Israeli citizens". "We do not rule out the possibility that the killers had connections to foreign intelligence services hostile to Palestine".

"Several kites crossed into Israel and were extinguished when required". The protests are meant to last six weeks, but peak on Fridays.

He said drones armed with explosives present a more serious threat than rockets and missiles because they can fly low and evade antimissile systems like Israel's Iron Dome.

Riad Mansour also stressed that an investigation must be "independent and transparent", as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and others have called for.

Protests demanding Palestinian refugees" right to return will continue until May 15, the Nakba or "Catastrophe, ' when Palestinians will commemorate 70 years since over 700,000 people were expelled from their homes following the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948.

There was no immediate word from Zanoun whether he would agree to the request, which followed word from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Thursday that it would boycott the session because it wanted more factions to attend.

Palestinian protesters pull part of the fence placed by the Israeli Army.