Saturday, June 23, 2018

Palestinians hold 13th anti-Israel Friday rally in eastern Gaza

Palestinians hold 13th anti-Israel Friday rally in eastern Gaza
Hundreds of Palestinians joined protests on Friday afternoon in the eastern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel as part of what they call the "Great March of Return" rally against Israel.

The Palestinians are demonstrating on the 13th consecutive Friday since March 30, calling for lifting the 11-year tight blockade which Israel has imposed on the impoverished coastal enclave.

Demonstrators gathered in five different locations in eastern Gaza. They burned tires, released flaming balloons and kites into Israel and clashed with Israeli soldiers.

Local media and radio stations reported that dozens of Palestinians suffocated after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers.

The health ministry in Gaza and witnesses said at least six demonstrators were injured by live ammunition, after managing to cut the barbed wires of the border fence.

Earlier in the day, representatives of the highest commission of "the Great March of Return" called on the Gazans through mosques loudspeakers to join Friday's protests.

The Israeli media reported that flaming kites and balloons caused four huge fires in agricultural fields in Israel but no injuries.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the health ministry spokesman in Gaza, earlier told reporters that Israeli forces have killed at least 131 Palestinians, and injured 14,000 others since March 30.

Around half of the injured were shot by live ammunition, and many of them are still in critical condition, he added.

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