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JERUSALEM – Israel's defense minister says the military will not change its tough response to Hamas-led mass protests near Gaza's border with Israel, warning that "anyone who approaches the border is putting their life in danger."
Avigdor Lieberman spoke Tuesday near Gaza, where 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire Friday, the first day of what Hamas says will be six weeks of border protests.
Earlier on Tuesday, the international group Human Rights Watch accused Lieberman and other senior officials of "unlawfully" calling for the use of live fire against Palestinian protesters who posed no imminent threat to life.
Lieberman signaled defiance, saying that "we have established clear ground rules and we do not intend to change them. "
Palestinian health officials say more than 750 Palestinians were wounded by army fire Friday.