The Great March of Return protests in the besieged Gaza Strip continued yesterday for the ninth Friday in succession. Thousands of Palestinians headed for the protest tents in the eastern Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon, including a number of leaders of the various Palestinian factions, headed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
There are five protest camps spread along the nominal border with Israel. In fact, Israel has never declared what its borders are, and has used the "Security Wall" in the occupied West Bank and a "buffer zone" inside Gaza to encroach upon and steal even more Palestinian land.
This is the second Friday since the beginning of Ramadan and the second after the massacre of protesters on 14 May, Nakba Day, when Israeli soldiers killed more than 60 Palestinian civilians and wounded thousands more. The Great March of Return is continuing, say the organisers, to demonstrate the Palestinians' commitment to their goal of fulfilling their legitimate right to return to their land occupied since 1948.
As on previous days, the Israelis responded to the protest by the use of live ammunition and tear gas. More than 100 people, including seven children and four women, were wounded yesterday. Hundreds of young men burned rubber tyres in an attempt to cloud the Israeli snipers line of fire and reduce the number of casualties. A few cut barbed wire installed by the Israeli occupation forces.