Great March of Return
Gaza Post-GAZA// At least 50 Palestinians injured in clashes on Friday between demonstrators, who joined the weekly anti-Israel protests and Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza Health Ministry Spokesman told reporters that 50 Palestinian demonstrators were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers’ gunfire in eastern Gaza Strip, including two women and one paramedic.
Dozens of Palestinian demonstrators clashed Friday with Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel during the weekly anti-Israel protests, better known as the Great March of Return.
Eyewitnesses said that the demonstrators waved Palestinian flags, chanted anti-Israel slogans and threw stones at the soldiers in several areas in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.
Field Paramedics said that the soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live gunshots at the demonstrators, adding that many of them were injuries and suffered suffocation after inhaling the Israeli tear gas.
Local media sources said that activists of the Great March of Return released several arson balloons from eastern Gaza Strip into southern Israel, while Israeli media reports said that several demonstrators climbed on the fence of the border.
Meanwhile, Palestinian security sources in Gaza said that an Israeli army tank fired at least three tanks shells on eastern Gaza Strip targeting military facilities that belong to Islamic Hamas movement; no injuries reported.
The Israeli media reported that the tanks shelling on eastern Gaza Strip was an immediate response to opening fire by Palestinian gunmen at an Israeli army force stationed on the border, adding that one soldier was moderately injured.
The Highest Commission of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Israeli Siege had earlier called on the populations of the Gaza Strip to join the weekly rallies and protests, which started in March 30, last year in eastern Gaza.
The commission said in a statement that the protests on Friday are against the United States decision to consider the Syrian Golani Heights under Israel’s sovereignty.
Gaza Health Ministry said that since the outbreak of the weekly protests, the Israeli army shot dead 273 demonstrators and wounded 17,000 others, who were officially referred to the hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, two delegations representing Islamic Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad headed to Egypt for talks in Cairo with senior Egyptian security intelligence officials on a possible calm with Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Khader Habib, a senior Islamic Jihad leader had earlier told reporters that the visit of the two delegations to Cairo aims at discussing the recent developments in the Gaza Strip and the calm understandings with Israel.
The group’s official accused Israel of not being committed to the understandings, mainly lifting an Israeli blockade that had been imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007.
Egypt and the United Nations have been mediating for several months a calm understanding between the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel trying to ease the hard living situation in the coastal enclave.