GAZA, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- At least 24 Palestinians were injured on Friday afternoon by Israeli gunfire during clashes between hundreds of Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, told reporters that Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 24 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, who was shot in his chest and was in critical condition.
He denied in an urgent message that the boy, whose identity is still unknown, died in the hospital, adding that "medical crews managed to rescue the life of the boy."
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in eastern Gaza Strip along with the border with Israel and clashed with Israeli soldiers, eyewitnesses and field paramedics said.
They added that the demonstrations are part of the anti-Israel weekly rallies and protests which have going on since March 30 last year, better known as "the Great March of Return" to break the Israeli siege.
The eyewitnesses told local radio stations that hundreds of protesters gathered in various locations in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.
They waved Palestinian flags, burned tires, chanted anti-Israel slogans and threw stones at the soldiers stationed on the border.
Paramedics in the field said that the soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live gunshots, adding that dozens were injured and treated in the field.
The demonstrators gathered in the area in response to the call of the highest commission of the marches of return to join the 48th Friday of the rallies.
The Hamas-ruled commission insists that the marches of return against Israel will go on until achieving its goals of ending 12 years of Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Gaza Health Ministry's officials said that since the outbreak of the marches of return, the Israeli army shot and killed more than 250 demonstrators and wounded around 26,000 others. Around 40 percent of them were injured by live gunshots.