“I participate in protests on a weekly basis, sometimes more. I didn’t even know there was a photographer near me.
“The flag I was carrying is the same one I always hold in all the other protests I’ve attended.
Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting weekly along the border with Israel since March. The protests, orchestrated by the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, are held in support of the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.
At least 217 Palestinians – mostly in the demonstrations – have been killed by Israeli troops since the protests began, according to the UN and Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza; one Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.
Israel says its forces have only opened fire in self-defence or against would-be attackers trying to infiltrate into Israel under the cover of the protests.