GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli troops shot and wounded seven Palestinians on the Gaza border on Friday, Gaza medical officials said, the day before a mass rally called to mark the first anniversary of weekly protests in which around 200 Palestinians have been killed.
Despite a decision by Gaza protest organizers not to hold a big demonstration on Friday some Palestinians turned out, although in smaller numbers than usual. Humanitarian officials urged restraint for Saturday’s anniversary to avoid any further bloodshed.
The Israeli military said its troops faced around 800 demonstrators along the fortified frontier on Friday and that they had used riot dispersal measures to defend the border.
There were also sporadic clashes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinian youths threw petrol bombs in Hebron, and 150 demonstrators hurled stones at Israeli troops, who fired back with rubber bullets and tear gas.
(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Gareth Jones)