For the 38th consecutive Friday, Palestinians converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing demonstrations against Israel’s decades-long occupation.
This Friday’s Gaza rally was held under the slogan, “Resistance is a legitimate right”.
In a statement, Gaza’s National Authority for Breaking the Siege urged Gazans to take part in today’s demonstration, which coincided with the 31st anniversary of the establishment of resistance movement Hamas.
In its own Friday statement, Hamas -- which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 -- stressed the Palestinian people’s right to resist occupation and “send a message to the Zionist enemy that there can be no safety for its soldiers or settlers as long as they continued to occupy Palestinian land”.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 46 demonstrators were injured during Friday’s rally by rubber bullets and teargas fired by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.
Injuries included Anadolu Agency photojournalist Mustafa Hassouneh, who was rushed to Gaza’s Dar al-Shifaa Hospital for treatment.
Protesters demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
Since the rallies first began on March 30, more than 210 Palestinians have been martyred -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.