Gaza ministry says gunfire at protest wounds 122

Gaza ministry says gunfire at protest wounds 122

Friday's protest drew thousands of people, the third large-scale demonstration along the volatile border in as many consecutive Fridays.

Thousands of Palestinians staged a mass protest along Gaza's sealed border with Israel on Friday, some burning Israeli flags while Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and live bullets, killing one and wounding hundreds, from across the border fence.

Israeli troops have martyred 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing worldwide criticism of the lethal tactics used against them.

The ministry says 406 demonstrators suffered other types of injuries Friday, including being hit by rubber-coated steel pellets and being overcome by tear gas.

On Friday, groups of youths waved Palestinian flags and burnt hundreds of tyres and Israeli flags near the fenced-off border after Friday prayers. Organizers encouraged people to walk on a large Israeli flag which had been placed on the ground.

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In the northern Gaza Strip, Sumaya Abu Awad, 36, attended the protest with her three daughters and son. "I am not afraid of death because there is no life in Gaza".

Thousands of Palestinians arrived at tented camps near the frontier as a protest dubbed "The Great March of Return" - evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel - moved into its third week. The Palestinian protesters were embarking on a non-violent campaign to raise attention on the outstanding demand of Palestinians for their recognized right of return to their homeland.

For Israelis, 1948 marks the year of the creation of their state. It is marked each year by Palestinians around the world.

"I am from the village of Hiribya and it is my right to return to it", she said, referring to a village north of Gaza destroyed in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union have called for an independent investigation into the violence.

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It stated that the seventeen medics were among 701 Palestinians, including journalists, who were injured by Israeli army fire.

"We strongly reject the unsafe contention made on April 8 by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman that 'there are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip, '" the statement went on.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Friday that Palestinians repeatedly tried to damage the border fence, throwing several explosives and fire bombs. The 11-year blockade of Gaza has left Gazans in a perilous position - less than four percent of fresh water is drinkable, the daily electricity supply is one-fifth of that needed, and healthcare provision is on life support.

In a rare move, Egypt opened its crossing with Gaza on Thursday and it will remain open until Saturday. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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