Hundreds of Palestinians on Friday flocked to camps set up along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border amid ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation.
Demonstrators held weekly prayers at the camps on the fifth consecutive Friday since the rallies kicked off late last month.
Medics have been deployed at the camps by the Palestinian the Health Ministry in case the Israeli army opens fire on demonstrators from the other side of the border fence.
Earlier Friday, the UN high commissioner for human rights urged Israel to refrain from using “excessive force” against demonstrators.
Since the border rallies began on Mar. 30, at least 41 Palestinians demonstrators — including five children — have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to Health Ministry figures.
Thousands of others have been injured — more than 140 seriously — over the same period, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.
For the last four weeks, Gazans have been staging mass rallies along the border to demand the “right of return” to their land in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15. That day will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”.