GAZA CITY - Three Palestinians were shot dead Friday as thousands demonstrated along the border between Gaza and Israel for a fifth consecutive week of rallies dubbed the Great March of Return.

More than 300 other people were hospitalised for gunshot wounds and tear gas inhalation, Gaza’s health ministry said. Forty-four Palestinians have now been killed by Israeli fire since major protests began on March 30, with hundreds more wounded. No Israelis have been hurt. Marchers are demanding the right to return to their homes seized by Israel in 1948. Israel says that allowing the refugees in would mean the end of the Jewish state, and accuses Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas of using the protests as a pretext for violence.

The protest movement is officially independent but has the backing of Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008. On Friday protesters again gathered at five sites near the border fence, though numbers were down on previous weeks.

Dozens of young men burned tyres and threw stones a few hundreds metres from the border, with Israeli soldiers occasionally firing tear gas and live ammunition. Two men, who were not identified by the Palestinian health ministry, were shot dead east of Gaza City, while a third, 29-year-old Abdul Salam al-Bakr, was killed along the border in southern Gaza. Three journalists were among those injured, the Gaza Centre for Media Freedom said. The Israeli army said in a statement around 10,000 Palestinians had taken part in “riots.”

“Attempts have been made to harm security infrastructure, roll burning tires, hurl rocks and fly kites with flaming objects attached to them.” In response, it said, “troops have used riot dispersal means and have fired in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

The decision has infuriated Palestinians, who see the annexed eastern half of the holy city as the capital of their future state. Amnesty International on Friday called for an arms embargo of Israel over the use of live fire.

The UN rights chief on Friday urged Israeli forces to stop using excessive force against Palestinian protesters and called for troops who have committed abuses “to be held accountable.” “Every week, we witness instances of use of lethal force against unarmed demonstrators,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a statement.

“Warnings by the United Nations and others have seemingly gone unheeded, as the approach of the security forces from week to week does not seem to have changed,” he added.

Meanwhile, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis called Friday for the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila amid a row sparked by the possible move of the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “Mrs Dancila is not up to the job of prime minister of Romania and as a result the government is becoming a liability for Romania. That is why I am publicly calling for Mrs Dancila’s resignation,” Iohannis said in a short statement.

Iohannis pointed to a secret memorandum adopted by the government last week with the aim of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He is opposed to the move and says he was not informed beforehand.

President Donald Trump said Friday he is considering traveling to Israel next month to open the new US embassy, which he controversially ordered moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. “I may go. I’m very proud of it,” he said at a White House press conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

, as he described nixing a $1 billion, 10-year plan for a new structure in favor of a $300,000 to $400,000 makeover of part of an existing US installation.

“It is going to be beautiful. And it will be somewhat temporary, but it could be for many years,” he said.

Trump’s embassy shift to Jerusalem sparked deep anger across the Arab world, particularly among Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.