Friday's protest is the third of what Gaza's ruling Hamas terror group said would be several weeks of "March of Return" demonstrations, which Hamas leaders say ultimately aim to see the removal of the border and the liberation of Palestine. "We came here so the world can see us and know that life here is miserable, and that there should be a solution".
Israelis say demanding they be allowed to return amounts to calling for the Jewish state to cease to exist. An MEE correspondent on the ground said at least one demonstrator was in critical condition after being shot in the head east of Gaza City. The count also included 67 minors and 20 women, health officials said.
"During our ongoing activities, the participants are asked to raise and wave Palestinian flags along with the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel in five different areas", he said.
Friday marked the third large-scale protest near the border fence since late March.
Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the protesters getting across the fence. Palestinians mourn the event as their "nakba", or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted in the 1948 war over Israel's creation.
"Thirty protesters were injured, one of them critically, east of [the city of] Khan Yunis", ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Anadolu Agency. The camp was decked out in Palestinian flags.
Rights groups have strongly criticised Israeli forces while pointing to unverified videos that have spread online of Gazans appearing to be shot, including one seeming to show a Palestinian targeted as he ran away from the fence while holding a tyre.
The incident took place during protests along the Gaza border sparked by US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which infuriated Palestinians and led to clashes.
Critics argue that Hamas' refusal to disarm is a key reason for the continued blockade.
Palestinians accused Israel of using disproportionate fire saying IDF soldiers opened fire on protesters to who not pose a threat.
This is supported by the United Nations in a resolution but has never been implemented, while around five million Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and countries surrounding Israel.
Around twenty-five-meter long masts were set up in five main areas along the Gaza-Israeli border for raising the flags.
Some in the Gaza crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device, according to the Israeli military.
The Israeli rights group B'Tselem said Friday that open-fire policy must not be dictated by worst case scenarios, such as a feared mass breach of the border.
Israeli troops fired live bullets and tear gas.
A Hamas fighter, identified as Mohammed Hijaila, was killed by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip earlier on Thursday, the health ministry said.
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