Palestinian protesters carry an injured man during clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border east of Gaza City, on May 11, 2018. At least one Palestinian was killed and dozens were injured Friday afternoon during clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers close to the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said. (Xinhua/Yasser Qudih)
GAZA, May 11 (Xinhua) -- One Palestinian man was killed and 973 injured Friday during clashes between hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers close to the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said.
The clashes, which broke out in the early afternoon in the aftermath of Friday prayers, were part of what the Palestinians call as "the Great March of Return," which began on March 30 and will end on May 15.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson of the health ministry in Gaza, said that Jaber Abu Mustafa, 40, was shot dead by Israeli gunfire during protests east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel.
He said in an update that 973 were injured in five different areas in eastern Gaza Strip, adding that 178 of them were shot with live ammunition, 13 of them were critically injured.
Al-Qedra also said that the Israeli army snipers are targeting children who are participating in the marches of return, adding that an Israeli sniper critically wounded a 16-year-old boy in the head east of the central Gaza Strip.
Death toll since the outbreak of the six-week protests and rallies in eastern Gaza Strip climbed to 48 and more than 8,000 were injured; around one third of them were injured with live ammunition, according to al-Qedra.
During the same period, another six Palestinians were killed, but their corpses are still held by the Israeli army.
Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas politburo chief, told demonstrators in eastern Gaza Strip that "we will tell Trump, who is moving his embassy to Jerusalem that Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and we won't let either Trump or Netanyahu to change it."
The protests are scheduled to peak on May 15, the day the Palestinians call as the Nakba Day.
Young men burned tires to make huge polls of black smoke that protect them from the snipers' gunshots during the confrontations, while many others flew kites and balloons carrying flames that fell into Israel on agricultural fields and caused large fires.
Besides throwing stones, dozens of young men cut and pulled large parts of the barbed wire of the borderline between eastern Gaza and Israel. Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear gas and live ammunitions at the demonstrators.
Other demonstrators made little hills of sands and muds to hide behind and protect themselves from the tear gas and gunshots. An old Palestinian woman waved a Palestinian flag and said she wants to return home.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian human rights group called al-Maizan in Gaza slammed the behavior of the Israeli soldiers stationed at the border, mainly the snipers who open fire at seriously injured civilians.
The rights group accused Israel of the use of excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators. The group called on the International Criminal Court to start investigating the cases of Israeli killing of Palestinians.
Later on Friday evening, dozens of demonstrators broke into the main commercial crossing point known as Kerem Shalom on the border between southern Gaza Strip and Israel, and damaged Israeli watching cameras placed outside the crossing point.