GAZA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- At least 22 Palestinian demonstrators were shot and wounded on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza, told reporters that 22 demonstrators were shot and wounded by Israeli gunfire, including a field paramedic, who was shot in the head and is in moderate condition.
On Friday afternoon, hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators headed to the area between eastern Gaza and Israel in protest against the peace plan the United States will announce soon, better known as the "Deal of the Century."
The demonstrators joined the weekly anti-Israel rally, known as the Great March of Return, which has been going on since the end of March last year.
These rallies came upon the call of the Highest Commission of the Great March of Return, which comprises representatives of various factions in Gaza including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The demonstrators waved Palestinian flags, chanted slogans against the United States and Israel and called for ending the tight Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007.
Local reports and the Israeli media said around 4,000 demonstrators gathered near the fence of the border with Israel, where several demonstrators tried to climb the fence while others launched burning balloons into southern Israel.
Israeli Radio reported that Israeli firefighters fought two large fires caused by such burning balloons in areas close to the border with the Gaza Strip.
It is worth noting that a senior Egyptian security intelligence delegation has been in Gaza since Thursday to follow up the implementation of a calm understanding reached between Israel and Gazan factions.
Earlier in the day, the Gaza Health Ministry said the Israeli army has killed 304 Palestinians and wounded 17,301 others including 3,544 children and 1,168 women, since the beginning of the weekly rally.
Earlier this week, military escalation between the Israeli army and Gazan militant groups reached its peak, when the militants fired 700 rockets and projectiles into Israel while the Israeli army harshly struck their posts in Gaza.
Efforts have been exerted by Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar to restore calm in the coastal enclave between Israel and the Hamas-led Palestinian factions.