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Palestinian political factions are calling for a "million-man" demonstration on Friday to show solidarity with Jerusalem and demand an end to the decade-long Israeli/Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The officer noted that although the IDF has attempted to minimize casualties they have not found a better way to protect the border than the use of "minimal gunfire aimed towards the legs". His family said he was taking part in a protest in Rafah, in southern Gaza, when he was shot.

Colonel Uri Mendes, deputy head of the Civil Administration - the Israeli military body in charge of the day to day management of the occupation - made the remarks on Sunday in a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee's Subcommittee for the occupied West Bank.

The specter of a mass border breach from the Palestinian enclave terrifies many Israelis and has caused high levels of support for the army's conduct despite an global outcry at the high number of deaths, including from Israel's allies.

Israel has drawn worldwide condemnation for its use of deadly force during the mass demonstrations. Rights groups have said Israel's open-fire rules are unlawful.

The protests have largely been organized by Hamas and to some extent by the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group. Israel and Hamas have fought three cross-border wars since 2008.

Participants thinned since the largest protests coinciding with the opening of the new United States embassy in Jerusalem last month, however Israel is gearing up for a larger turnout on Friday. The day is known in Arabic as "Al Quds Day", a reference to the city's historic Arabic name.

The eastern sector houses major shrines revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

In Iraq, thousands of Iran-backed Shiite militiamen in uniform marched through the streets of the capital of Baghdad on Friday, setting an Israeli flag on fire and carrying posters of the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


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