Israeli forces intervened in Palestine with tear gas during the demonstration of the "Great March of Return" near the Israel-Gaza border, east of the Shuja neighborhood in Kyoto in Gaza City, Gaza on November 16, 2018.
(Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency)
By Safiye Karabacak
GAZA CITY / RAMALLAH, Palestine
Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Friday while taking part in ongoing demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.
In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that 40 demonstrators had been injured – including three in critical condition – by Israeli forces stationed along the other side of the buffer zone.
The protesters demanded the right to return to their homes in historic Palestine, from where they were encouraged in 1948 to pave the way for the new state of Israel.
They also demanded an end to Israel's 12-year blockade in the Gaza Strip, which has wiped out the coastal enclave economy and usurped more than two million people from many basic commodities.
Since the demonstrations in Gaza began on March 30, more than 210 Palestinians have been martyred – and thousands more injured – by Israeli army fire and tear gas.
In a related development, several Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces while taking part in anti-settlement demonstrations in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC).
In a statement, the PRC said three Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets while taking part in protests in Ras Karkar village near Ramallah and the village of Kafr Qadum near the town of Tulkarm.
Dozens of other Palestinians suffered tear gas after being dispersed by Israeli forces in the village of Bilin west of Bethlehem, the PRC added.
According to Palestinian figures, more than 700,000 Israeli Jews live in 196 settlements (built with the approval of the Israeli government) and more than 200 settler posts (built without government approval) in the occupied West Bank.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement building activities there as illegal.