Michael Staines
Michael Staines

20.28 15 May 2019


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At least 65 people have been wounded during protests at the Gaza frontier commemorating the mass displacement of Palestinians during the war leading to the creation of Israel.

Thousands gathered at the border today to mark the 71st anniversary of the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” when over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes.

Gaza’s health ministry said 65 people, including 22 children, were injured by live fire, shrapnel, rubber-coated steel bullets and teargas.

The crowds gathered after Hamas announced a general strike and closed schools.

Nakba

The Israeli Defence Forces said around 10,000 rioters and demonstrators gathered along the fence.

They posted a picture of a burning field claiming “Palestinians in Gaza violently rioting along Israel's border fence launched incendiary devices into Israel” had set off the fire.

The violence comes as Israel continues to host the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

There have been numerous calls in recent weeks for people to boycott the show in protest over Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

Gaza Palestinians gather in Gaza City to mark the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, 15-05-2019. Image: Mohammed Talatene/dpa

Protests

Earlier this year, a UN investigation found that the Israeli Defence Forces may have committed war crimes during last year's protests in Gaza.

It found that Israeli forces shot 6,000 protesters during protesters in 2018.

At least 189 people were killed by the gunfire - including 35 children.

Those numbers have risen further since the report was released.


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