A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on Aug. 31, 2018. Around 180 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers on the borders between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, the Gaza health ministry said. (Xinhua)
GAZA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Around 180 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers on the borders between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, the Gaza health ministry said.
Among the 59 admitted to hospitals, a 20-year-old female paramedic and a 10-year-old boy were in critical condition, Ashraf al-Qedra, the Gaza health ministry spokesman, told reporters.
Hundreds of young Palestinians gathered in eastern Gaza close to the borders with Israel, calling for the end of an Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007, eyewitnesses said.
They also released dozens of arson balloons from eastern Gaza into Israel, while cutting and pulling the barbed wires of the border security fence, according to eyewitnesses and local media.
In response, Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear gas canisters and live gunshots at the demonstrators, they said.
Medical sources and paramedics said dozens suffered suffocation after inhaling tear gas, and around five were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers' gunfire.
Earlier in the day, Hamas called for people to join the 23rd Friday "Great March of Return" anti-Israel rally through mosques' loudspeakers.
Senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya has said the weekly protests would only stop when Israel lifts its siege on Gaza.
The anti-Israel rally, which began on March 30, has so far left 171 Palestinians killed and more than 18,000 others wounded, according to a Gaza health ministry statement.