Israeli troops have opened fire on Palestinians who have gathered near a Gaza fence for the climax of a six-week demonstration coinciding with the inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.
Clashes erupted along the fence Monday between Palestinians and Israeli forces as protesters converged on the site for a “day of rage”.
Gaza’s health ministry said 28 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli snipers who are positioned along the fence, facing the protesters.
The Israeli army is expecting about 100,000 demonstrators to gather at three main locations, coinciding with a gala in the afternoon to officially relocate US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israeli troops have killed 45 Palestinians since the demonstrations began on March 30, according to Palestinian health officials, while no Israeli casualties have been reported.
The death toll has drawn international criticism, but the United States, which has drawn Muslim anger by relocating its embassy move, has supported Israel.
On Sunday, the Israeli air force dropped leaflets over the Gaza Strip warning Palestinians not to approach the fence and threatening to target Hamas facilities in the besieged territory if protesters breach the barrier.
Palestinian witnesses said Israeli aircraft also dropped flammable material on Monday to burn tires that protesters had stacked to set on fire. The Israelis also fired tear gas at people inside the tented encampments that have sprung up along the fence.
Hardline education minister Naftali Bennett told Israel Radio that the regime would treat the Gaza fence as an “Iron Wall” and anyone who approached it as a “terrorist”.
The rallies known as the “Great March of Return” are due to climax on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) when Israel was created.
Source: Press TV