Gaza protests: All the latest updates

Protesters expected to attempt to cross into Israel, in demonstration coinciding with US embassy move to Jerusalem.

Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip are preparing to cross the highly fortified fence separating the enclave from Israel, as part of the Great March of Return movement.

At least 20 people have been wounded since Monday morning with the Israel army firing live ammunition as protesters assembled east of Gaza City.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have already arrived to participate in the rally.

Monday’s rallies come ahead of the annual commemorations of the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, when the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948, which led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and villages.

The protests were also planned to coincide with the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in line with the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, furthering stoking tensions and angering Palestinians.

The demonstrations are part of a weeks-long protest calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the areas they were forcibly expelled from in 1948.

About 70 percent of the Gaza Strip’s population of two million are descendants of refugees.

Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 49 Palestinians in the coastal enclave and wounded more than 8,500.

Here are all the latest updates as of Monday, May 14:

Palestinians in Gaza prepare to cross fence with Israel

Organisers of the Great March of Return say they are expecting as many as one million people to join the demonstration and attempt to cross the fence with Israel from various points across the border.

A leaflet circulated by the organisers reads: “The national committee for the Great March of Return invites you to participate in the peaceful popular protest, One Million of Return and Breaking the Siege”.

A spokesperson for the Great March of Return, Ahmad Abu Artema, told Al Jazeera on Monday that the aim of trying to cross the fence is to “send a message the Palestinian people have not and will not adapt to 70 years of being refugees, estrangement and difficult conditions.”

“We are adamant to return, no matter what happens. This is what the people of Gaza want – it’s about popular will. And this is their right.”

The Right of Return is enshrined in United Nations Resolution 194.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of being behind the protests, saying the movement exploits Palestinians and deliberately exposes them to danger near the border fence.

The organisers behind the Great March of Return have rejected these claims.

Early on Monday, the Israeli military, which has imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, dropped leaflets warning Palestinians to stay away from the border.

Teen Palestinian succumbs to wounds

Jamal Afanah, a 15-year-old boy, died on Saturday in the southern Gaza Strip as a result of wounds inflicted by Israeli security forces the day before, according to Palestinian health officials.

Israeli forces shot Afanah on Friday during protests which took place for the seventh Friday in a row as part of the Great March of Return movement.

Afanah’s death takes the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the protests began to at least 49.

Egypt to open Rafah border crossing

The Palestinian embassy in Cairo announced that Egypt would open the Rafah border crossing for four days and would allow movement in both directions.

The opening is meant to attend to humanitarian cases, as well as to those whose names are registered waiting to leave the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds mourn death of Jaber Salem Abu Mustafa

Hundreds of Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip attended the funeral of 40-year-old Jaber Salem Abu Mustafa, who was shot by Israeli forces.

Mustafa was shot in the chest near the Israeli border, east of Khan Younis, on Friday, May 11.

Friday, May 11  

Palestinian killed, more than 100 wounded

Israeli forces have shot dead a 40-year-old man, Jaber Salem Abu Mustafa, east of Khan Younis, according to Palestinian health officials.

Abu Mustafa died when he was shot in the chest with live ammunition.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry, said 167 other people had been wounded by live ammunition, tear gas, and rubber-coated steel bullets.

One journalist was among those injured. He sustained an injury in his foot east of Khan Younis.

Al-Qidra said medical staff are conducting therapeutic treatment for dozens wounded by Israeli forces, including women and children.

Preparations under way for Nakba protest

Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Gaza-Israel border, said young people have been arriving at the protests with tyres to be burned to reduce their visibility to Israeli forces positioned with snipers on the other side of the fence.

“We’ve already seen one youth injured this morning, hit by live fire. He was very close to the fence, taken away in an ambulance,” Dekker said.

“What people here will tell you is that there is a lot of pressure. It has resulted in a lot of pressure on Israel.

“We’re understanding from sources that there are talks under the table to prevent the Nakba protest from happening. Why? Because hundreds of thousands of people are expected to show up – not just at this point but all along the border with Israel.”

Dekker explained that there might be fewer demonstrators attending this Friday’s protests compared with previous weeks because Palestinians are preparing for far bigger protests in the days to come.

Israelis march in support of Palestinians in Gaza

Around noon, some 50 Israelis began marching towards the Gaza border protesting against the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and the Israeli army’s use of lethal force against unarmed Palestinian protesters.

Haggai Matar


עכשיו ליד בארי וגבול עזה: כחמישים נשים וגברים מתחילים צעדה שקטה נגד המצור וירי על אזרחים. שירי בר, מהמארגנות: באנו כדי להעביר מסר אבל גם כדי להכנס לנעליים של כל מי שגרים פה מכל הסוגים

Friday, May 4

Dozens of Palestinians wounded in Gaza border protest

Israeli forces have fired tear gas and live rounds at Palestinian protesters on the Gaza-Israel border, wounding at least 40 people.

At least 13 people were wounded by live fire, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from the Gaza-Israel border, said there were no reports of deaths and that the number of people injured on Friday marked “a substantial decrease” as compared to previous weeks.

But that figure could rise, he said, adding: “We have heard live fire being used on several occasions today. There has been a lot of tear gas, a lot of warnings coming from the Israeli side.”

Protesters burned tyres at the site sending black smoke billowing into the air.

Palestinians with their faces painted like characters from the movie ‘Avatar’ pose for a picture at the Israel-Gaza border [Said Khatib/AFP]

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