According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, a 30-year-old Palestinian, identified as Karim Abu Fatair, was killed after Israeli forces opened fire and shot him in the head near the return camps in central Gaza.
The ministry also announced that Saadi Akram Ahmad Abu Maamar, 27, succumbed to his wounds from the protests also in central Gaza.
The ministry confirmed that 270 Palestinians were injured, of whom 166 were treated at medical posts along the border, while 104 were transferred to the hospital to receive medical treatment.
The ministry added that of the 104 transferred to the hospital, 60 suffered injuries due to live ammunition fired by Israeli forces.
Local witnesses said that tens of thousands of Palestinians arrived near the return camps to participate in “The Great March of Return” protests to break the nearly 12-year Israeli siege of Gaza.
Witnesses added that Palestinian youths ignited tires on fire to blur the vision of Israeli snipers, while others were seen raising Palestinian flags and statues of the Al-Aqsa Mosque throughout the protests.
Hani al-Thawabta, an PFLP official in the Gaza Strip, said that the Palestinian people stressed on Friday their determination to continue the march no matter the increase of aggression or of the siege and living conditions.
Al-Thawabta added that the participation of the public on Friday sent an important message in light of the continued aggression on Palestinian people, showing that the marches of return will continue despite the escalation.
He continued by saying “the masses sent a message to all parties conspiring against the Palestinian people and in order to lift the siege on Gaza and stop all forms of aggression, their rights do not have to be compromised in the process.”
“The Great March of Return” protests were launched on March 30th by thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza — which has suffered from a decade-long Israeli siege — who took to the borders to demand their right of return as refugees to their original homelands, now in present-day Israel.