GAZA STRIP, Palestine
Eleven Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire on Sunday near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said Israeli forces opened fire toward Gaza’s eastern border, injuring 11 people, one seriously.
The injuries came as scores of Palestinians gathered near the border as part of Palestinian protests demanding the right of return to refugees.
On Friday, tens of thousands converged on the Gaza Strip’s roughly 45-kilometer-long eastern border with Israel to reaffirm their right to return to their ancestral homes in historical Palestine.
Ahead of the mass demonstrations, Israel had deployed thousands of troops along the border. Dubbed the “Great March of Return,” the protests also intended to pressure Israel to lift its more than decade-long blockade of Gaza.
Israeli forces’ attacks on the demonstrators left 17 Palestinians martyred and nearly 1,500 injured.
The rallies were endorsed by virtually all Palestinian political factions, which repeatedly stressed the event’s peaceful nature.
Land Day is an annual Palestinian commemoration of six Arab Israeli citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976, during demonstrations against government land confiscations in northern Israel.
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