Netanyahu praises Israeli army after killings of Palestinians
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised Israel's security forces after the killing of 17 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, just as condemnation of the Israeli army's use of live ammunition against protesters grows.
In a statement on Saturday, Netanyahu thanked his troops for "guarding the country's borders" and allowing "Israeli citizens to celebrate the [Passover] holiday peacefully".
"Well done to our soldiers," he said.
Several countries and rights groups have denounced the shooting of the Palestinian protesters, who demonstrated in their thousands along Gaza's eastern border on Friday.
More than 1,500 others were wounded when Israeli forces fired live ammunition at protesters, used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to push them back from the border area, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
On Saturday, 49 more people were wounded in the ongoing demonstrations.
Palestinian rights group Adalah said the Israeli army on Saturday "accidentally" took responsibility for the attacks on Palestinian protesters, before deleting a post from their official Twitter page.