TEHRAN (Press Shia) – At least 25 Palestinians were reportedly wounded Friday as thousands participated in the "March of Return" protest along the Israel-Gaza border for the fifth week in a row, local media reports said.
Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians’ peaceful demonstrations on Friday along the Gaza Strip border, injuring 25 people, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Friday is the fifth consecutive week of mass violent protests on the Gaza border as part of the “March of Return” rallies.
Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces also clashed in Hebron, leaving one lightly wounded, media reports said Friday.
The committee organizing the protests said this week’s march is dedicated to “rebellious youth” to honor thousands of young people who have come to protest every week at the area along the border fence.
The organizers said that this week, too, the marches are supposed to remain a nonviolent mass protest. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, youths scattered sand bags in several locations along the border earlier this week for protection against sniper fire.
The protests will continue even after May 15, the day the Palestinians mark the Nakba (Catastrophe) – the founding of Israel – said Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, on Wednesday. “The Palestinian people will demonstrate throughout the month of Ramadan to deal with the many challenges facing us, and first of all the peace plan promoted by US President Donald Trump, called the ‘Deal of the Century,’” said Haniyeh.
“We will turn this deal into a resounding slap in the face for the administration in Washington and anyone who weaves conspiracies against the Palestinian people,” added Haniyeh.
Forty-two Palestinians have been killed and 5,511 were wounded in the mass protests since March 30, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on Tuesday.
On Friday, the UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said that Israel must address the use of excessive force in Gaza, and that the loss of life is "deplorable," and that "the number of injuries is staggering."
Of the injured, 2,596 people were hospitalized in government hospitals, 773 in nongovernment hospitals and the rest were treated in the field. Of those in government hospitals, 1,499 were hit by live ammunition, 107 by sponge-tipped bullets, 408 suffered gas inhalation and 582 suffered other injuries; 2,142 were adults and 454 were minors.