Middle East

Gaza rallies continue for 47th consecutive Friday

Demonstrators demand end of Israeli embargo that has brought Gaza to verge of humanitarian catastrophe

Gaza rallies continue for 47th consecutive Friday Palestinians burn tyres and use slingshots to throw stones to Israeli forces during Israeli forces' intervention to "Great March of Return" demonstration near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza on February 15, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )

By Mohamed Majed

GAZA CITY, Palestine

For the 47th week in a row, Palestinians on Friday converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

In a statement, Gaza’s National Authority for Breaking the Siege (NABS) urged the people of Gaza to take part in Friday’s demonstration, which was held under the slogan, “Gaza cannot be broken”.

“The Israeli occupation continues to provoke us by deploying snipers and troops armed with lethal weapons along the buffer zone," NABS declared in a statement.

Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee, for his part, warned Palestinian protesters from approaching the buffer zone.

"For your own safety," he tweeted, “stay away from the special security zone.”

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, at least 20 Palestinians who took part in Friday’s demonstration were injured by Israeli army gunfire.

In a statement, the ministry said that a Palestinian child had been seriously wounded after being shot in the chest by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone. 

Since Palestinians in Gaza began holding the rallies in March of last year, more than 250 protesters have been killed -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli army gunfire.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes 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.

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