Israel says Gaza protests are 'state of war'

Pompeo reiterated US support to Israel during his visit to the Middle East

The Israeli army estimated that 7,000 Palestinians took place in this Friday's demonstrations in five main locations along the border fence.

"In particular, we urge Israelis to reconsider the use of live fire, and we urge the Palestinian leadership to maintain their calls for non-violent protests", the FCO added.

Facing global censure over its use of live fire in the protests, the Israeli army says it is protecting its border and takes such action only when protesters, some hurling firebombs and trying to plant explosives, approach too closely. The army confirmed the drone losses.

Demonstrators are protesting their forced eviction from their homes in historical Palestine in 1948 and demanding an end to Israel's decade-long blockade of Gaza.

The death of Anas Abu Aser brings the toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces' fire, since protests and clashes along the Gaza border began, to 49, with hundreds of others wounded from gunfire. Alternatives, such as accommodating refugees and their descendants in a future Palestinian state, have been discussed in peace talks that date back to 1993 but which are now stalled.

"If it wasn't for the occupation we would have lived as free as people like in other countries", said Ahmed, 24, at a protest site east of Gaza City.

Israel's use of live fire has drawn global criticism.

A US-based media freedom watchdog condemned the closure by Israeli forces of a media youth association in occupied East Jerusalem and called on the authorities to allow it to work freely.

Israel accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs Gaza and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the weekly protests as a cover to carry out violence. The protests come at a time of growing frustration for Palestinians as prospects for an independent state look poor.

Palestinian protesters have gathered along the Gaza-Israel for the sixth successive week.

President Donald Trump's decision broke with decades of global consensus that the future of the disputed city should be negotiated between the parties, but Israel is hopeful other countries will follow the U.S. lead.

The United Nations General Assembly on December 21 overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the U.S. to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital.

"We will put Molotov cocktails on the Israeli farms", Issa said.

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