Daniel Estrin

Days after Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian photojournalist covering protests on the Gaza border, Israel's defense minister alleged the photographer had served as a high-ranking member of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas since 2011.

But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the photojournalist had passed a U.S. government vetting process for his media company to receive a U.S. aid agency grant. The U.S. does vetting to ensure grant recipients have no ties to militant organizations or activities.

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While Palestinian protesters burned tires and Israeli soldiers shot volleys of tear gas on the Gaza-Israel border Wednesday, a bearded young man in a blue tweed jacket sat in a nearby barley field with a chessboard, mulling strategy.

He and a friend were practicing checkmate maneuvers. But as Palestinians gear up for another Friday of large and potentially bloody demonstrations on the Gaza border, they were also considering bigger questions of strategy: What are Palestinians trying to achieve?

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On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza held their biggest demonstration against Israel in years.

On Saturday, a war of incrimination erupted about what exactly had happened.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied at the Gaza border, demanding to return to lands in what is today Israel. In clashes, 15 demonstrators were killed by Israeli fire, and one was killed by tank fire before demonstrations began when Israel said he approached the border fence.

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