83 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza: medics

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At least 83 people were injured on Friday during clashes that broke out between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers near the fence of the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said in a press statement that the Israeli soldiers, stationed on the border, fired dozens of tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and live gunshots at the demonstrators.

He said that 83 demonstrators were injured, most of whom were taken by ambulances to the hospitals for medical treatment, adding that dozens were slightly injured and treated by paramedics in the field.

Friday's demonstrations were part of the weekly anti-Israel protests, better known as the "Great March of Return," which started on March 30 last year.

Earlier on Friday, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas political bureau chief, said that "our people will not stop the march until the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip is lifted."

Earlier this week, Israel eased the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007, when it expanded the fishing area off the enclave's coast from 6 nautical miles to 15 miles as part of an Egyptian-brokered calm understanding.

Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar have been mediating between Israel and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, to reach calm on the border between the coastal enclave and Israel.

Gaza Health Ministry officials said that 271 Palestinians have been killed, including 57 children, and more than 30,000 injured by Israeli soldiers' gunfire since the start of the "Great March of Return."


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