Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that a Palestinian youth was killed and at least 172 were wounded on Sunday due to Israeli military excessive use of force against the “Return Protests” in different parts of the coastal region. The sources stated that Israeli troops based near the Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, killed an 18-year-old youth identified as Salah Khamis, from Jabalia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Adham Abu Salmiyya, spokesperson of the Medical Services in the Gaza Strip, stated that at least 172 Palestinians were injured by army fire on Sunday before noon as the Israeli forces fired several artillery shells and hundreds of rounds of live ammunition at residents participating in the Return Protest, near the Eretz “Beit Hanoun” crossing, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Most of the wounded are children while the injuries were described as mild-to-moderate.

Thousands of Palestinians participated in the protests on Sunday carrying Palestinian flags and carrying keys as a symbolic gesture affirming their right to return to their cities, villages and towns they were displaced from when Israel was created in Palestine.

International peace activists, mainly Italians who recently entered the Gaza Strip, participated in the protests to express their rejection to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing Israel oppression, and violations.

Political and Islamic factions held a meeting in Gaza City on Sunday evening and decided to declare a strike and to lower the Palestinian flags in protest to Israel’s attacks against the Return Protests marking the anniversary of the Nakba.

Hamas political leader, Ismail Radwan, read a joint statement issued by the Palestinian factions declaring Monday as a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The strike will be from 10 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon.