About 20,000 Palestinians participated in protests dubbed the “Friday of Tires” along the Israel-Gaza border. Hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators began Friday to set fire to dozens of car tires near the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel in a bid to make a shield of black smoke to protect themselves from Israeli soldiers’ gunfire…..reports Asian Lite News.
During the violent confrontations with Israeli border soldiers on Friday, eight Palestinians were killed and about 1,300 others wounded.
Earlier on Friday, the UN human rights office deplored the reported use of “excessive force” by Israeli soldiers during the March 30 protests in Gaza, where at least 16 people were killed and more than 1,000 others injured.
Friday’s protest, however, was smaller in scale than that of last week, which was estimated to bring together about 30,000 Palestinians.
The Israeli military responded with riot dispersal means, and fired in accordance with the rules of engagement, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
Attempts were made by Palestinians to infiltrate into Israel under the cover of a smoke screen, in addition to explosive devices and firebombs thrown toward IDF soldiers and attempts to damage the security fence, the IDF said.
“The IDF will not allow any harm of the security infrastructure or the security fence that protects Israeli civilians, and will act against the violent rioters and terrorists who attempt to do so,” it added.
The Israeli military on Thursday threatened Hamas with a tougher military response to another planned Friday demonstration on Israel’s border with Gaza.
The six-week protest campaign “March of Return” to mark Land Day, is an annual commemoration of a 1976 protest against Israeli confiscation of Arab-owned land.