At least two Palestinians have lost their lives and more than four dozen others sustained injuries during clashes with Israeli soldiers as anti-occupation protests along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories continue unabated.
The spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement that 25-year-old Nabil Abu Aqel was critically injured in his head east of Jabalia, located 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north of Gaza City, before Friday noon.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his grave gunshot wounds.
Shortly afterward, another Palestinian man, identified as 24-year-old Ahmed Rashad al-Athamna, was fatally shot.
Qidra further noted that 40 Palestinian protesters were injured by Israeli gunfire and suffered tear gas inhalation as well.
Protests along the Gaza border since March 30 have led to clashes with Israeli forces in which at least 34 Palestinians have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries.
The Palestinian rally, dubbed the “Great March of Return,” will last until May 15, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) on which Israel was created.
Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.
More than 760,000 Palestinians – now estimated to number nearly five million with their descendants – were driven out of their homes on May 14, 1948.
Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite UN resolutions and international law that upholds people’s right to return to their homelands.
This year’s Land Day demonstrations appear especially combustible as Palestinian anger is already high over Trump’s decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and parts of Syria’s Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.
Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967, but the Tel Aviv regime has defied that piece of international law ever since.