A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, July 19, 2019. At least 74 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said. (Str/Xinhua)
GAZA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A total of 74 Palestinian demonstrators were injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.
Among the injured were two journalists and four field paramedics, a ministry report said, adding 36 were injured by Israeli soldiers' gunfire.
According to local media, around 6,000 demonstrators gathered on Friday afternoon in eastern Gaza close to the border with Israel.
It was the 67th weekly anti-Israel protest, better known as the Great March of Return rally which started in late March last year.
Demonstrators burned dozens of Israeli flags, chanted slogans against Israel and the United States, waved Palestinian flags and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.
In response, Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear gas canisters and opened fire at the demonstrators to keep them away from the border fence, local media said.
Ahmad Bahar, a senior Hamas leader who joined the protest, told reporters that burning the Israeli flags is symbolic of the Palestinian opposition to the normalization with the occupier.
"Burning the occupier's flags is a message and a lesson to all those who are normalizing ties with the occupier," said Bahar.
Israeli soldiers have shot dead 306 Palestinian demonstrators and injured 17,000 others since the start of the weekly protests last year, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.