Palestinian and Israeli forces clash during Nakba Day demonstrations

Gaza City - By Saud Abu Ramadan and Tamara Zieve, - Clashes broke out on Wednesday between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers along the border fence between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.

Palestinian health authorities said that at least 60 people had been injured in the clashes, which broke out at rallies to mark Nakba Day.

Nakba means "catastrophe" in Arabic and Palestinians use it to refer to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, which they commemorate every year on May 15 with mass protests which often turn violent.
Medics at Shiffa Hospital in Gaza City said that the grandson of the late Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin was among the injured. Ahmad Abdulghani Yassin, 19, suffered injuries to both his legs, the medics said. Israel assassinated Yassin in 2004.
"We tell the occupation and its leaders leave away because the day of slaughtering you and getting rid of you is near, you have no place in Palestine, Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa," said Fati Hamad, a member of Hamas' political arm.
Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers showered the demonstrators with foul-smelling water and also fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse them and keep them away from the border fence.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said some 10,000 rioters and demonstrators were protesting at the border fence and that the army used riot dispersal means.
The army said rioters were burning tyres and hurling rocks and several explosive devices. The army also said there had been a number of attempts to approach the border fence.
The Hamas-run al-Aqsa Radio station reported that thousands are expected to join the Nakba March in eastern Gaza, which is organized by the highest commission of the Great March of Return.
For over a year, Palestinians in Gaza have been holding weekly protests along the border fence. They are calling for the right of return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to the territory of today's Israel, as well as for an end to the 12-year-long blockade imposed by Israel.
According to the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry, since the launch of the demonstrations, the Israeli army has shot and killed 305 Palestinian demonstrators, including 59 children and 10 women.

Wednesday, May 15th 2019
By Saud Abu Ramadan and Tamara Zieve,

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