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“We recognize Israel’s right to defend herself,” he said in a statement, but he added, “It is vital that any response is proportionate, avoiding lethal use of force unless absolutely necessary, and that the right to protest is respected.”

Both Palestinian governments — the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the anti-Israel Hamas government in Gaza — praised the protesters.

Azzam Ahmed, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of “brutally” attacking peaceful Palestinians who “have the right to return to their homes and land.”

In Gaza, Hamas ordered three days of mourning, calling the dead “martyrs of Palestine.”

Israeli opposition lawmaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former general and defense minister, predicted that unrest would only grow at Israel’s various borders.

“There is only one solution,” said Mr. Ben-Eliezer, whose Labor Party splintered and then quit the government in frustration over its failure to break a stubborn impasse in peacemaking with the Palestinians. “To recognize a Palestinian state and sit down tomorrow at the bargaining table,” he told Israel Radio.

Sunday’s unrest marked the anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Gaza Strip and Sinai peninsula from Egypt in six days of fighting.

The recent protests have drawn attention to the plight of Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled from homes in Israel during the war over Israel’s 1948 creation. The original refugees, and their descendants, now number several million, and they demand “the right to return” to the families’ former properties.

Israel opposes their repatriation because Palestinians eventually would outnumber Jews in the Jewish state. The fate of the refugees and their descendants is one of the toughest issues in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

Albert Aji contributed to this report from Quneitra, Syria.