Clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza wound 11 Palestinians: medics

At least 11 Palestinians were injured on Friday afternoon during clashes between Gaza demonstrators and Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza, told reporters that 11 demonstrators were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers’ gunfire, adding that dozens suffered suffocation after inhaling tear gas fired by the soldiers.

Dozens of Palestinians joined on Friday, the 60th Friday of the weekly anti-Israel protests, better known as the Great March of Return and Breaking the Israeli siege which started in March 30 last year.

The Highest Commission of the Great March of Return had earlier called on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip populations to join the weekly protests to mark the International Day of Jerusalem.

Demonstrators gathered close to the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, burned tires, waved Palestinian flags, chanted slogans against Israel and the United States, clashed with the soldiers, and released arson balloons into southern Israel.

In eastern Khan Younis town in southern Gaza Strip, the demonstrators burned a symbolic puppet for U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Jerusalem was and will remain Palestinian, Arab and Islamic. It is the eternal capital of the state of Israel,” said Ismail Radwan, member of the commission and a senior Hamas movement leader, who joined the protests in eastern Gaza.

Khalil al-Hayya, deputy Hamas chief, told reporters in eastern Gaza city during his participation in the protests that “the crowds of people came here to send a message that Jerusalem is for the Palestinians and the Israelis have no place there.”

In December 2017, Trump announced that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel and moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the city in May last year.

Al-Hayya said that the Palestinians “are united to reject the upcoming plan of the Americans, better known as the Deal of the Century, and also to reject the economic workshop that will be held in Bahrain on June 25.”

“All these projects will fail and our people will walk on it,” said al-Hayya, adding that “the Deal of the Century will not pass and Jerusalem will remain for the Palestinians because it is an Arab and Islamic city.”

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, to be the capital of their independent Palestinian state, while Israel insists that the whole city is its eternal capital.