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For 49th week, Gazans continue anti-occupation protests

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

For the 49th week in a row, Palestinians on Friday converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s occupation and its years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, Gaza’s National Authority for Breaking the Siege urged the people of Gaza to take part in Friday’s demonstration.

Hazem Qasim, a spokesman for Hamas (which has governed Gaza since 2007), said: “The public’s insistence on taking part in the rallies shows they will not back down until the siege is broken.”

READ: Israel should face justice for unlawful Gaza protest killings 

Since the demonstrations began in March of last year, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops deployed along the buffer zone.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

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