By Mohamed Majid
GAZA CITY, Palestine
Hundreds of Palestinians on Friday converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in anti-occupation demonstrations that have remained ongoing since March 30.
During Friday’s demonstration, a Palestinian youth was killed and at least 21 protesters were injured -- three of them seriously -- by Israeli army gunfire, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
In a statement, Gaza’s National Committee for Breaking the Siege urged the people of Gaza to take part in the rally, dubbing the event “The Friday of Breaking the Siege”.
The committee went on to assert that the rallies would continue “until [Palestinian] refugees are granted the right to return [to historical Palestine] and Israel’s decade-long blockade has been lifted”.
Protesters demand the “right of 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 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of basic commodities.
According to the Health Ministry, 183 Palestinians have been martyred -- and 20,000 others injured -- by Israeli forces deployed along the other side of the buffer zone since the rallies began more than five months ago.