Violence at the Israel-Palestine border continued on Friday, April 6, as nine Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army, seven of whom died during the resumed confrontation between the Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops, Gaza's health ministry said.
The deceased included Yaser Murtaja, a 30-year-old journalist who sustained a bullet injury in his chest despite wearing a vest with a 'press' mark on it at a demonstration in the eastern part of the Gaza City. Murtaja succumbed to his injury on Saturday, April 7. Four other journalists were also injured in the clashes, said Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate.
Thousands of Palestinian protesters started their 'March of Return' on Land Day on March 30 which would culminate on the Nakba Day or the 'Day of Catastrophe' on May 15. It is the day after Israel got its independence in 1948. April 6 was the second Friday of the protests and the blood-spilling was already too high.
The health ministry of Gaza said the Israeli military's strong retaliation has left over 230 Palestinians injured out of a total tally of 1,000 plus. Twenty-five of the injured in gunfire was in a critical state. Over 440 demonstrators were taken to hospitals in Gaza. Twenty-nine people, mostly in their youth, were killed in the violence since the 'March of Return' started.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday condemned Israel's "murder and oppression" in a statement. He also called on the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Palestinian representatives in international bodies like European Union and Arab League to raise the issue with the international community to force Israel to give up its iron response to "unarmed demonstrators".
Israeli authorities said the Palestinians, numbering around 20,000, protested in five locations throughout the Gaza Strip and threw stones and firebombs at the border. The Israeli Army said they stopped scores of attempts by the protesters to illegally cross the border and enter Israel.
Gaza's health ministry has appealed to the international community to come to the aid of hospitals in Gaza with medicine and other essential supplies as they were struggling to cope with the situation.