Palestinian dies of wounds, bringing Gaza death toll to 18

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Palestinian dies of wounds, bringing Gaza death toll to 18
A man walks next to a tent with a painting with Arabic writing that reads, "Palestine," near the Gaza Strip border with Israel, in eastern Gaza City, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Israel’s defense minister on Sunday rejected international calls for an investigation into deadly violence along Gaza’s border with Israel, saying troops acted appropriately and fired only at Palestinian protesters who posed a threat. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian Health Ministry says a 29-year-old Gaza man has died of injuries from Israeli army fire during last week’s mass protests along the Gaza border with Israel.

Separately, Israeli defense authorities confirmed that Israel is holding the bodies of two alleged Hamas members.

With Monday’s death, this would raise to 18 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops on Friday.

Hamas says Friday’s mass march was the first in six weeks of protests against a decade-old border blockade.

Israel rejected allegations of excessive force, saying it defended its border against what it claims is a Hamas attack under the guise of mass protests. It says troops were instructed to target “the main instigators.”

Rights groups say shooting Palestinians who don’t pose a threat to soldiers’ lives is unlawful.