Israeli forces opened fire on dozens of protesters marching on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip near Khan Younis on Sunday.Witnesses said that Israeli forces opened fired on the protesters as they neared the border, adding that no injuries were reported.
Ma’an reports that the protest was called in opposition to the Israeli-administered blockade of the coastal strip as well as to delays in reconstruction.
Protesters were also commemorating the 39th Palestinian ‘Land Day.’
Adham Abu Salima, spokesman for a local activist group, the National Committee for Breaking the Siege and Reconstruction, told Ma’an the protest had been called to mark ‘refusal’ of the blockade and to stand up for Gazan families whose homes are in ruins.
Large swathes of the Gaza Strip remain in ruin following a 50-day Israeli assault last summer, which killed more than 2,300 Gazans and left 100,000 homeless.
However, reconstruction has been slow due to the restriction on imports the Israeli authorities impose as part of the blockade, which has been in place since 2007.
Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian civilians near the border since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014.
In February alone, there were a total of 26 incidents of shootings, incursions into the Strip, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to the border region near the ‘security buffer zone.’
A number of recent demonstrations in the occupied territories have marked Land Day, commemorating a general strike and marches that took place on Mar. 30, 1976 to protest Israeli land seizures.
Six unarmed Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Israeli forces that day.