A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on Dec. 28, 2018. At least six Palestinian protesters were injured on Friday afternoon by Israeli soldiers' gunfire during clashes in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Xinhua)
GAZA, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- At least six Palestinian protesters were injured on Friday afternoon by Israeli soldiers' gunfire during clashes in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza, told reporters that six Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers' gunfire, adding that two of them are in critical condition.
He went on saying that dozens had suffered burns and suffocations after they inhaled the tear gas fired at them by the Israeli soldiers stationed on the border with eastern Gaza Strip.
Despite the rainy weather in eastern Gaza Strip, clashes broke out on Friday afternoon between hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers stationed on the border with eastern Gaza, according to local Gaza TV stations.
Paramedics said that the soldiers fired tear gas and live gunshots at the protesters who approached the fence of the border.
They said dozens suffered burns and suffocation after inhaling tear gas, adding that at least six were injured by the soldiers' gunfire; one of them is a 14-year-old boy who was shot in his head and is in serious condition.
Eyewitnesses said that Israeli snipers are targeting the protesters with live gunshots and that the snipers target the upper parts of the protesters.
Friday's anti-Israel protests are the 40th Friday of protests that are part of the marches of return and breaking the siege that broke out on March 30, according to the marches' organizers.
Al-Qedra said that since the start of the marches, the Israeli army had shot and killed 245 Palestinians and wounded more than 25,000; around 40 percent of them were shot by live gunshots.
Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said in an emailed press statement that "the massive public participation in the 40th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege despite all the difficult circumstances confirm the great national cohesion in the face of the Israeli occupation."
Hamas leaders who have been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007 and the organizers of the marches of return insist that their protests, rallies and marches will go on until Israel ends its 12-year-old blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.