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Clashes persist after Israeli soldiers kill 15, injure hundreds more in Gaza

Friday was the bloodiest day in Gaza since 2014. Palestinians continue protesting as Israel rejects UN and EU calls for an investigation.

 / Updated 24 PHOTOS

A boy waves a Palestinian flag at the Israel-Gaza border during clashes with Israeli troops at a tent city protest commemorating Land Day to demand the right to return to their homeland, east of Gaza City on April 1, 2018. Land Day marks the killing of six Arab Israelis during 1976 demonstrations against Israeli confiscations of Arab land.

Israel will target "terror organizations" in Gaza if violence along the territory's border with Israel drags on, the chief military spokesman warned Saturday.

The mass marches were led by Gaza's ruling Hamas group and touted as the launch of a six-week protest campaign. Palestinian health officials said that 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and that more than 750 others were hit by live rounds. 

Mohammed Salem / Reuters
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Palestinian protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli forces on April 1.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
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A young Palestinian boy who was wounded in the clashes is surrounded by family at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on April 1.

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief army spokesman, denied allegations of excessive use of force, saying those killed by Israeli troops were men ages of 18 to 30 who were involved in violence and belonged to militant factions.

Mohammed Salem / Reuters
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Palestinian protesters carry an injured comrade on April 1.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
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Israeli soldiers walk on the Israeli side of the border on April 1.

Amir Cohen / Reuters
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People react as they evacuate Tahreer Abu Sabala, 17, a deaf Palestinian who was shot and wounded in the head at the border in the southern Gaza Strip on April 1.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters
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Medical staff help an injured Palestinian man at an emergency medical tent near the border with Israel east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on April 1.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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Palestinians ride a donkey as they pass by the Israel-Gaza border east of Gaza City on April 1.

Mohammed Salem / Reuters
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Mourners hold back a relative of Palestinian Hamdan Abu Amshah, who was killed along the Israeli border with Gaza, during his funeral in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on March 31.

Suhaib Salem / Reuters
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Palestinian mourners carry the body of Ibrahim Abu Shaer, who was killed on March 30 by Israeli forces, during his funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 31.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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Palestinian relatives of Ibrahim Abu Shaer mourn during his funeral on March 31.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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The mother of Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Shaer mourns during his funeral on March 31.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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Israeli forces aim their weapons toward Palestinian demonstrators in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on March 31.

Hazem Bader / AFP - Getty Images
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Relatives of Palestinian farmer Omar Samour, 27, who was killed by Israeli tank fire before demonstrations began, recite prayers as they stand above his body in the morgue of a hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip on March 30. Witnesses said Samour was working his land near the border when the shells hit, while an Israeli army spokesman reported that "two suspects approached the security fence along the southern Gaza Strip and began operating suspiciously." The shelling came just hours before the opening of the protest camps near the border, for which the Israeli army deployed reinforcements, including more than 100 special forces snipers, in fear of mass attempts to break through the security fence.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli troops fall over Palestinians during a demonstration in eastern Gaza City on March 30.

Hatem Moussa / AP
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An Israeli drone drops tear gas grenades over protesters in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on March 30.

Mohammed Saber / EPA
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Palestinian protesters run for cover from Israeli tear gas on March 30.

Mohammed Saber / EPA
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An injured Palestinian woman lies on the ground on March 30.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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Palestinian women wave their national flag and gesture near the border east of Khan Yunis on March 30.

Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
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A Palestinian throws stones at Israeli forces across the border on March 30.

Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images
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Palestinians pray on the Gaza border with Israel east of Jabalia on March 30.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
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Palestinian women wave flags and flash the victory gesture during the protest on March 30.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
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Palestinians participate in the tent city protest commemorating Land Day, with Israeli forces watching from across the border.

Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images
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Israeli forces next to the border fence on the Israeli side of the border on March 30.

Amir Cohen / Reuters
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