LIVE: Seven Palestinians killed, hundreds wounded in second week of Gaza protests
Protests have begun in the Gaza Strip today, one week since the beginning of the "Great March of Return" in the besieged enclave, where almost 1.3 million of the small territory’s two million inhabitants are refugees, demanding their right to return to their pre-1948 homes.
The six-week protest is set to end on 15 May - the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), in which more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced by Israeli forces in 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
Israeli forces violently repressed last week's protest, which occurred on Land Day, killing 19 demonstrators and injuring more than 1,400 with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas.
Demonstrators were anticipating similar levels of military repression this week, a day after Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that "open-fire rules for the Gaza border will remain unchanged".
Palestinians have nicknamed this Friday's protest "Jum'at al-Kawshook", literally meaning "Tyres Friday", as demonstrators planned on using burning tyres and mirrors to distract Israeli snipers and infantry brigade troops from targeting the crowds with live ammunition.
Photo: Hussein Mohammed Madi, 15, a day before he was killed by Israeli forces (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)
The Israeli military's Arabic spokesperson tweeted on Friday a photo with Palestinian children in a sniper scope captioned, "We see you well."
Avichay Adraee, who earlier this week used a religious ruling by Saudi Muslim Saleh al-Fawzan to discourage Palestinian from participating in the Great Return March, warned Palestinians on Friday that they cannot hide from the Israeli army.
Translation: Those who think they can hide from the lenses of our forces are mistaken. We see you clearly, and we won't allow anyone to even try to compromise Israel's security. Stop the stupidity and putting yourselves in harm's way.
An 18-year-old Palestinian was killed east of Rafah city in the Southern Gaza Strip.
Alaa Yahya al-Zamli is the seventh Palestinian to have died from today's demonstration, according to the Ministry of Health.
Chloe here from Bethlehem. Here's an evening round-up of the day's events:
► Six Palestinian demonstrators have been killed as of 8 pm local time: Mohammed Said al-Haj Saleh, 33; Ibrahim al-Aar, 20; Sedqi Abu Etiwi, 20; Hussein Mohammed Madi, 15; Majdi Ramadan; and Osama Khamis Qudeih, 38.
► At least 1,060 have been injured across the Gaza on Friday, including 293 wounded by live fire.
► At least five journalists have been injured by Israeli forces throughout the day
► Solidarity demonstrations across the West Bank saw dozens wounded, at least three detained by Israeli forces
A sixth Palestinian was killed in today's demonstrations, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported.
33-year-old Mohammed Said al-Haj Saleh died after being injured in the chest and abdomen east of Rafah City in southern Gaza.
The Ministry added that at least 1,060 people were injured today, including 25 in critical condition
Hamas leader, Yahya al-Sinwar, said that if Gaza exploded, it would be in the face of the Israeli occupation.
Sinwar, who was elected in February 2017 as the top leader of the movement that governs Gaza Strip, said that "the world should wait for our great move when we breach the borders and pray at Al-Aqsa mosque," in Jerusalem.
Speaking to protestors in one of the demonstration sites, Sinwar said that "Gaza would not let down the national aspirations of the Palestinian people."
"They thought that by putting pressure on the Gaza Strip, the masses would revolt against the Palestinian resistance... They thought that if the Gaza Strip is starved, it would give up its principles and would abandon the project of liberation and return,” he said.
Sinwar added that "we are following in the path of martyr Yasser Arafat in resisting the enemy,” referring to Israel, and "the conspiracy of besieging the Gaza Strip, with the hope that its residents would revolt against resistance, has failed."
Palestinians consider Yasser Arafat, a Palestinian national leader died in 2004, as a martyr, claiming that Israel poisoned him.
Protesters at the site chanted slogans, including “We are going to Jerusalem, millions of martyrs,” a chant that firstly chanted by Arafat in 2002 when he was under Israel military siege in his Palestinian Authority's headquarter in Ramallah.
At least 780 Palestinians have been injured, by tear gas and live gunshots, during today's protests.
The latest estimate of injuries given by the Gaza Ministry of Health said that at least 372 people were taken to hospital for treatment.
A Palestinian Red Crescent Society spokesperson told MEE that the organisation treated 446 people on Friday, including 218 who were shot with live ammunition.