Palestinian and Israeli forces clash during border fence protests

Palestinian demonstrators gather east of Gaza City in the Gaza Strip on May 15, 2019, during a protest marking 71st anniversary of Nakba.
Palestinian demonstrators gather east of Gaza City in the Gaza Strip on May 15, 2019, during a protest marking 71st anniversary of Nakba.PHOTO: AFP

GAZA CITY (DPA) - Clashes broke out on Wednesday afternoon (May 15) between hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers along the border fence between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.

The clashes broke out at rallies to mark Nakba Day. Nakba means "catastrophe" in Arabic and Palestinians use it to refer to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, which they commemorate every year on May 15 with mass protests which often turn violent.

Medics and paramedics said three Palestinians were wounded during the clashes by Israeli soldiers.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers showered the demonstrators with sewage water and also fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse them and keep them away from the border fence.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said some 1,200 rioters and demonstrators were protesting at the border fence and that the army used riot dispersal means.

The Hamas-run al-Aqsa Radio stationed reported that thousands are expected to join the Nakba March in eastern Gaza, which is organised by the highest commission of the Great March of Return.

For over a year, Palestinians in Gaza have been holding weekly protests along the border fence. They are calling for the right of return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to the territory of today's Israel, as well as for an end to the 12-year-long blockade imposed by Israel.

 

According to the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry, since the launch of the demonstrations, the Israeli army has shot and killed 305 Palestinian demonstrators, including 59 children and 10 women.