A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on Feb. 1, 2019. Clashes broke out on Friday afternoon between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli army forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, wounding dozens of people, medics and eyewitnesses said. (Xinhua/Stringer)
GAZA/RAMALLAH, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Clashes broke out on Friday afternoon between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli army forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, wounding dozens of people, medics and eyewitnesses said.
In eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, at least 25 Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers stationed on the borderline area, according to Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza.
Thousands of protesters gathered Friday afternoon in eastern Gaza Strip joining the 45th weekly anti-Israel rallies and protests, known as the "Great March of Return" to break the Israeli blockade.
The protesters waved Palestinian flags, chanted anti-Israel slogans, burned tires, cut the barbed wire of the border's fence, and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, according to eyewitnesses.
They said that the soldiers fired dozens of tear gas canisters and live ammunition at the demonstrators to keep them away from the fence of the border, and dozens suffered suffocation after inhaling the tear gas.
The rallies organizers Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, who also joined the rallies in eastern Gaza, insisted that their marches and protests will go on until achieving the goals of ending the Israeli blockade that had been imposed on the Gaza Strip for 12 years.
Essam Daalis, a senior Hamas leader, told reporters that "the shortest way for (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to end tension in the Gaza Strip is to immediately end the siege and ease the hard living situation in the Gaza Strip."
Gaza Health Ministry officials said earlier that since March 30, when the marches started, the Israeli army had shot and killed more than 250 demonstrators and wounded around 25,000 others, most of them shot by live gunshots.
Meanwhile, a senior Egyptian security intelligence delegation and the United Nations special envoy Nickolay Mladenov are holding talks with Hamas leaders in Gaza.
They discussed earlier Friday with Islamic Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on the reinforcement of a calm understanding reached with Israel in November, according to Haniyeh.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the West Bank said Friday that at least 15 Palestinian demonstrators were shot and wounded during clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers in the village of Lemghayer near Ramallah.
Local media reports in the West Bank said that Israeli forces stormed the village and clashed with dozens of residents in the afternoon, adding that Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and opened fire at the demonstrators who threw stones at the soldiers.