**Jerusalem:** At least three Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured on Friday afternoon during clashes with Israeli soldiers on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, the Gaza Health Ministry said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said that three Palestinians were shot dead and hundreds injured by Israeli soldiers’ gunfire in various areas in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.
He said that 120 of the 248 injured were referred to hospitals for treatment. Eighty of them were shot by live bullets. Two of them are voluntary paramedics.
On Friday afternoon, hundreds of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip arrived at five different spots in the eastern area of the coastal enclave, close to the border with Israel as part of their participation of the 25th Friday of the “Great March of Return”, Xinhua reported.
They waved Palestinian flags, burned tires and chanted slogans against Israel. Some of the demonstrators released dozens of arson balloons into Israel.
Local media reported that around eight protesters managed to cut the barbed wire of the fence on the border in southern Gaza Strip, and infiltrated into Israel for a short while and then returned into Gaza.
An Israeli army spokesman confirmed in a press statement that around 13,000 Palestinians joined Friday’s protests in eastern Gaza, adding that its tanks targeted military facilities belonging to Hamas in eastern Gaza Strip.
The Israeli media reported that Palestinian activists threw three fire bombs at an Israeli army force stationed at the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, adding that dozens of arson balloons were released from Gaza into Israel, causing large fires.
Abdulatif al-Qanou’a, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said in a statement that the “Great March of Return” rally will continue until it achieves its goals.
“We will use all means and instrument to break the siege,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, another spokesman for Hamas.
The anti-Israel rally, which began on March 30 and has been going on every Friday, has so far left 177 Palestinians killed and more than 19,000 others wounded, Al-Qedra said.