Palestinian medics carry a wounded man during clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border, east of southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, on April 19, 2019. At least 48 Palestinians were wounded on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)
GAZA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 48 Palestinians were wounded on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, the Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, said in a press statement that among the casualties were five paramedics and four local photojournalists, adding that dozens were treated in the field after inhaling tear gas.
The clashes on Friday were part of the weekly anti-Israel protests, better known as the Great March of Return, which started at the end of March last year.
The Highest Commission of the March of Return had earlier called on the Gaza Strip population to join the weekly activity in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
The demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and held posters of Palestinian prisoners. They threw stones at the soldiers, who fired live gunshots, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.
Health officials in Gaza said that since the marches and rallies had started, the Israeli army has killed 272 Palestinians and injured 16,700 others.
The rallies, protests and marches, which started in late March last year, urge Israel to end 12 years of tight blockade that had been imposed on the coastal enclave which has been ruled by Hamas movement since 2007.
Although, Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar are mediating a calm understanding between Israel and Hamas-led factions, the Commission said that the protests will go on every week until the Israeli blockade is lifted.
Earlier Friday, Israeli army tanks stationed on the border struck with tank shells a military post that belongs to Islamic Hamas militants. No injuries were reported, according to local media reports in Gaza.
There has been no immediate comment from Israeli army on the shelling, however, Israeli media reported that an Israeli army force patrolling near the fence of the border was subjected to gunfire that came from the Gaza side.