Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth in clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Strip border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, March 30, 201
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Thousands of Palestinians marched on Friday at the largest demonstration of its kind in the Gaza border with Israel, and 15 were killed by Israeli fire at the first of the day The Hamas organizers said, will be six weeks of daily protests against a crushing border blockade.
It was the bloodiest day in Gaza since the border war between Israel and Hamas in 2014.
Fourteen of the demonstrators were killed and more than 750 injured by Israeli fire during clashes along the border fence, said the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Another Palestinian was killed on Friday.
The Israeli military said thousands of Palestinians had thrown stones and rolled burning tires at the soldiers on the other side of the border fence. She accused militants of assassinations under the guise of mass protests and said that in an incident Palestinian gunmen shot at soldiers.
The large participation of flag-waving demonstrators in the dangerous border zone was a testimony to Hamas' organizing capabilities, but it also signaled desperation among Gaza residents after a decade-old border closure.Life life in the coastal strip has been rising in recent months with rising unemployment "Increasing poverty and daily blackouts continue to worsen."
Asmaa al-Katari said she is taking part in the march, despite the risks, and will participate in the upcoming protests. It is difficult here in Gaza and we have nothing to lose. " The history student said she was a descendant of refugees from today's Negev desert in Israel. She said her grandfathers lived as refugees in tents.
"I want to tell the world that the cause of our grandfathers is not dead."
50-year-old Gaza resident Ghanem Abdelal said he hoped the protest "This will bring a breakthrough to our lives in Gaza, an improvement."
He had taken his family to a protest tent camp near Gaza City – one of five that was set up several hundred yards from the border fence – where he distributed water to bottles of women and children sitting on a mat.
Israel had threatened a harsh response in the hope of preventing breakthroughs at the border fence. The Israeli military released a video featuring a series of snipers standing in a single spot on a high mound in front of the Gaza crowd.
Israel also introduced a new mass-control method on Friday – small drones, each throwing several tear gas canisters at protesters. The humans quickly dispersed as they saw the approaching drones.
The UN Security Council began an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the clashes in Gaza. The session, which was opened by Kuwait, began as a closed meeting, but it developed into an open discussion.
Friday's high toll and the prospect of daily protests in the coming weeks raised concerns about further escalation along the volatile border. Israel and militant Islamic Hamas have led three cross-border wars in recent years.
The protest campaign is intended to emphasize the demands of the Palestinians for a "right of return" to today's Israel. A large majority of the Gaza Strip's 2 million people are descendants of Palestinians who fled Israeli settlements in the 1948 Middle East War or were expelled from their homes.
The 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel on May 15 is considered by Palestinians as their "Nakba" or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted.
Mass border planning is also seen as a new attempt by Hamas to break the border blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt after the capture of Hamas. Gaza of troops loyal to its rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has Hamas 2007 by the continued closure increasingly difficult to govern.
Other attempts to break the blockade, including wars with Israel and attempts to reconcile with the West Bank-based Abbas has failed over the years.
The recent Egyptian reconciliation efforts collapsed earlier this month when a bomb was targeted, but Abbas's Prime Minister and intelligence chief missed a visit to Gaza
Hamas and Abbas exchanged their allegations after the bombing and signaled that Deal with Hamas, which passes Gaza's government to Abbas, is increasingly unlikely.
Hamas leader in Gaza, Yehiyeh Sinwar, said the protests are a signal to Israel and the world that "our people will not accept the continuation of the siege".
Israel and the Trump administration have expressed concern over a looming humanitarian crisis in Gaza in recent months and have appealed to the international community to provide large funds (19659029). Such plans, however, appear to be based on an agreement on the takeover of Gaza by Abbas Israel did not say what it would do if such an agreement did not work
The violence on Friday started before dawn, when a 27-year-old farmer who picked parsley in his field was in the southern Gaza Strip hit by an Israeli shell, the Ministry of Health said. Another farmer was injured by shrapnel.
The Israeli military said troops had targeted tankfire at suspicious figures on the border.
Later that day, mosque spokesmen pushed Gaza residents to the border camps. A bus company affiliated with Hamas brought demonstrators into the area. A total of tens of thousands gathered in the camps, though not all went to the border, witnesses said. Other Palestinian groups also participated in the organization of the protests.
The Department of Health said at least 1,000 people had been injured, including 758 from live fire and the rest from rubber bullets and tear gas.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum praised the involvement.
"The great crowds … reflect the determination of the Palestinian people to achieve the right of return and break the siege, and no power can stop this right."
Groups of demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with live fire, tear gas and rubber bullets.
The military said thousands had participated in the clashes.
Maj. General Eyal Zamir, commander of the South Command of the Israeli military, which includes the border with the Gaza Strip, said he blamed Hamas for the violence and claimed that there were attempts to carry out terrorist attacks under cover of uprisings.
The Israeli Army opened fire on two Palestinians approaching the fence and shooting at soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip. He said that troops also fired on Palestinians who invaded Israel.
The military had doubled its standard troop level along the border, deploying snipers, special forces, and paramilitary border police units specializing in controlling riots. The campaign began when Jews agreed to celebrate the Passover, and it is scheduled to join culminate in the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, mid-May.
The anniversary of the founding of Israel will be particularly strained for the Palestinians this year] The US administration Donald Trump has promised to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The proposed embassy movement is in line with Trump's recognition of the embattled Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, a ruling that infuriates Palestinians seeking the city's eastern sector annexed by Israel as their future capital.
Foliage from Ramallah, West Bank
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