TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Israeli troops fired live rounds and tear gas at Palestinians who thronged the Gaza-Israel frontier on Friday as part of a long-running protest, injuring about 1,100 people.
Medics said around 82 people were shot and wounded with live fire, another 800 treated for gas inhalation and the rest for other injuries along the Gaza side of the 25-mile border fence, where Palestinians set up tent encampments on March 30 for “The Great March of Return”.
Israeli army gunfire has killed at least 43 Palestinians on the frontier over the last month.
Protesters said they used slingshots to down two small Israeli observation drones. The army confirmed the drone losses, Reuters reported.
Hundreds of Palestinians entered Kerem Shalom, an industrial crossing point on the border.
The Israeli army issued footage showing fires at Kerem Shalom, but said the damage was limited to the Palestinian side.
Facing international censure over its use of live fire in the protests, the Israeli army claims that it is protecting its border and takes such an action only when protesters, some hurling firebombs and trying to plant explosives, approach too closely.
Nearly 50 Palestinians have lost their lives in clashes with Israeli forces during protests along the Gaza border since March 30.
The Israeli regime has faced international criticism over its use of live fire.
The Palestinian rally, known as the “Great March of Return,” will last until May 15, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when Israel was created. Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate the day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.
Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite UN resolutions and international law that uphold people’s right to return to their homelands.
Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem (al-Quds) and parts of Syria’s Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.
Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967, but the Tel Aviv regime has defied that piece of international law ever since.