UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Two Palestinian youths were killed and dozens injured by Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip on Friday, the Palestinians said. The Palestinians have continued their protest movement since March 30, calling it “the march of return”.
Thousands of Palestinians poured along the border fence separating the enclave from the Jewish state. An AFP correspondent said clashes were taking place between hundreds of young men and the Israeli army near the border.
He said the youths were lighting tires and throwing stones while the Israeli army responded with tear gas and live bullets.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip killed two Palestinians and wounded more than 80 others in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalia.
Ahmed Rashad al-Othamneh, 24, and Ahmed Nabil Abu Aqel, 25, were “shot” after being shot dead on Friday afternoon, the doctor said. He said 83 people were injured, including two seriously injured.
One of the injured was “one of the Emirates television photographers who was shot in the hand with live ammunition,” an AFP correspondent said.
The death of the two youths has raised the death toll of these protests since March 30 to 36 Palestinians. More than 4,000 others were wounded by Israeli bullets and tear gas in the worst wave of violence since the 2014 war.
Eyewitnesses said that Ahmed Abu Aql was standing near the border, next to youths lighting tires, explaining that he had special needs as he was deaf. Abu Aql was shot in the legs during protests against US President Donald Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.
– “The march of chaos” –
On April 30, the Palestinians began the “march of return” in conjunction with the anniversary of “Land Day”, to conclude on the anniversary of the Nakba on May 15. It aims to demand the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and the lifting of the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.
The body responsible for the protests on the movement of the day called the march of the prisoners and the martyrs, and hung along the path of the march pictures of the dead and prisoners. However, a group of Palestinian youths called it “Friday Kites”.
These young men fired dozens of kites with Palestinian flags and leaflets reading: “O Zionists, go back where you come from, do not respond to your leadership, they will send you to death or captivity. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”
On Friday morning, Palestinian youths fired kites laden with incendiary materials on agricultural areas in Israel. It appears that these aircraft are on their way to becoming a symbol of the “march of return”.
The Israeli army has warned Gazans not to approach the fence.
“Hamas is throwing your future and the future of your children into the air and imagining that it is doing something for you,” Israeli military spokesman Avichai Adrei wrote on his Facebook page in Arabic.
He accused the Islamic movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, of “spreading videos to use absurd tools … and will not lead you to any result.”
A video entitled “March of Chaos” was released, showing young Palestinians throwing stones in new ways to reach longer distances.
Israel accuses Hamas, which has fought three wars against it since 2008, by using demonstrations to carry out violence.