Nearly 70 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces

GAZA /PNN/

Nearly 70 Palestinians were wounded as Israeli forces attacked people participating in fresh weekly rallies near the fence separating the besieged Gaza Strip from the occupied territories on Friday.

Hundreds of Palestinians took part on the 79th Friday of protests in eastern Gaza under the banner of “No to Normalization,” rejecting all forms of normalization with Tel Aviv, after the Hamas movement said some Arab states were rushing to normalize ties with the occupying regime.

A spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry said 69 people were injured by Israeli forces during the latest protests.

Ashraf al-Qedra added that 26 of those wounded during the protests were shot with live ammunition fired by Israeli troops.

Palestinians have been holding weekly rallies in the Gaza Strip since March 30 last year to protest against the more than decade-long siege imposed by the Israeli regime on the enclave and to stress the right to return of the Palestinians who have been driven out of their homeland by Israeli aggression since 1948.

At least 312 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the anti-occupation protest rallies. Over 18,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.

In March, a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.

Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards.

Israel has also launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.