For the fourth Friday in a row, thousands of Palestinians protested near the separation fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip to demand the recognition of their “right of return,” the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV reported.
Palestinian activists said that this week’s protests had been launched under the name “Friday of the Martyrs and Prisoners.”
Ismail Haniyeh, a political leader of the Palestinian Hamas Movement, participated in the protests near the separation fence for the first time. Hamas’ leader encouraged the protestors to continue their struggle and said that these protests will remove “the border.”
“They [Israeli Army soldiers] are too weak to deter our men, our youth and our women, and these threats are increasing our strength, power, intensity and mass on these borders,” Haniyeh told the crowd of protestors, according to the Palestinian news agency Sama.
The Israeli Army responded to the Palestinian protests with force as it had already done over the last three weeks. According to the al-Mayadeen, four protestors were killed by Israeli Army snipers and more than 500 others were injured with the tear gas and rubber bullets that had been fired by the Israeli Army.
Earlier, the Israeli Army dropped thousands of leaflet over the Gaza Strip warning civilians from participating in the protests and accusing the Hamas Movement of carrying out hostile acts during the protests.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed that the Israeli Army had killed 34 Palestinian protestors and had injured 4,279 others since the outbreak of the protests on March 30. Local sources believe that the Palestinian protests will intensify over the course of the upcoming weeks until it reaches its peak on March 15, the independence day of Israel, that’s known in the Arab World as the “Nakba Day.”