Israeli troops killed nine men on Friday in the second mass protest in as many weeks along Gaza’s volatile border, as Palestinians torched piles of tires to create a smoke screen to block the view of snipers.
Friday’s deaths brought to 31 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire over the past week, including 22 protesters.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said 1,070 people were wounded on Friday, including 293 by live fire. It said 25 of those wounded were in serious condition. Among those hurt were 12 women and 48 minors, the ministry added.
Friday’s march was the second in what Gaza’s Hamas rulers said would be several weeks of protests against a decade-old border blockade of the territory. Israel has accused Hamas of using the protests as a cover for attacking Israel’s border, and has warned that those approaching the fence put their lives at risk.
Hundreds of Palestinians have already arrived at the border area on Friday for what is expected to be the largest demonstration since the first day when most of the fatalities occurred.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians are holding a six-week-long protest in tent encampments along the fenced border of the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, an enclave of 2 million ruled by the Hamas group.
- With Reuters.