A Palestinian protester hurls stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes, following a protest against Jewish settlements in Bita village near the West Bank city of Nablus, Feb. 16, 2018. (Xinhua/Nidal Eshtayeh)
RAMALLAH, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A total of 40 Palestinian demonstrators were wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on Friday afternoon, local sources said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesman of Gaza Health Ministry, told reporters that 23 Palestinians were shot and wounded during clashes on the borders between eastern Gaza and Israel.
One of the injured was in critical condition as he was shot in the head, while most of the others were shot in the upper parts of their bodies, he added.
"This shows that the Israeli soldiers aim at killing the Palestinian protestors," said al-Qedra, referring to the worsening security situation in the coastal enclave that has been under an Israeli blockade for 11 years.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said dozens of angry demonstrators waved Palestinian flags, chanted slogans against Israel and threw stones at the soldiers stationed on the borders between eastern Gaza and Israel.
The Israeli soldiers fired back with tear gas, rubber bullets and live gunshots to disperse the Palestinian demonstrators, they added.
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in an e-mailed press statement that 17 Palestinians were injured by tear gas during protests in the cities of Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah.
Mass protests and demonstrations have been going on every Friday in Gaza and the West Bank against Israel since U.S. President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December.
Also on Friday, Islamic Hamas movement warned Israel that the Palestinian militant groups won't stay silent in response to Israel's daily violations against Jerusalem and the Palestinian residents.
"The occupant (Israel) must understand that the Palestinian armed resistance won't stay silent amid the endless violations against the Palestinian lands, the holy sites and the populations of Jerusalem," said Hamas in an e-mailed leaflet.
Israel took over East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later declared the whole city as its eternal capital in a move largely rejected by the international community. The Palestinians wants to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.