Final Friday protests kill 1, injure hundreds in Gaza

Final Friday protests kill 1, injure hundreds in Gaza

May 11 (UPI) — One Palestinian was shot dead and more than 400 people were injured Friday in the last “March of Return” protest at the Gaza-Israel border, which has run for seven straight weeks.

About 5,000 people participated in the demonstrations, the Israeli army said. It was the final event in a seven-week schedule of protests at the border every Friday, leading to Nakba Day.

Further protests are planned on what Palestinians regard as their “day of shame,” which coincides with Israeli independence day in the Gregorian calendar. While the official date is May 15, the protest is scheduled for May 14, to avoid conflicting with the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

Protesters clashed with Israeli troops Friday at several locations on the border between Gaza and Israel. Fires were started in Israeli territory by burning kites flown from the Gaza side, and the Israeli army said it used live ammunition against the violent demonstrators.

The Gazan health ministry said several journalists were injured by gunfire and tear gas.

For weeks, the demonstrations became known as “Preparedness and Foreboding Friday” in anticipation of the following week’s planned protest. Palestinian organizers called them the “Great March of Return.”

Palestinians are seeking the right to return to homes from which they were displaced after the 1948 founding of Israel. The protests are also meant to call attention to Gaza unemployment.

The United States’ embassy in Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Monday.

Clashes were also reported in the West Bank. An Israeli soldier was injured Friday in a car-ramming attack near the settlement of Shavei Shomron, the army said.