Palestinians head to Gaza-Israel border for weekly protests

Palestinian employees queue outside a cash machine outside the Bank of Palestine as they wait to withdraw their salaries in Gaza City

Palestinian employees queue outside a cash machine outside the Bank of Palestine as they wait to withdraw their salaries in Gaza City

Protesters demand the "right of return" to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel. Israel's government celebrated the United States decision, saying it recognized the "reality" that Jerusalem was the historic capital of the Jewish people.

Tear gas canisters are fired by Israeli troops at Palestinian demonstrators during a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on May 4, 2018.

"The matter is being looked into", a statement from the army said.

Israel has warned that it would use excessive force against any attempt of infiltration from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Witnesses said two Israeli drones monitoring the frontier were brought down after being hit by stones.

At the moment, the army is investigating the cause of the crash BPL.

Though the first two weeks of demonstrations saw tens of thousands of protesters, the past month has seen far lower levels of participation.

According to the Ministry of Health, Israeli forces injured at least 350 protesters Friday, including 21 minors and three journalists. Israel has identified other fatalities as members of terrorist groups.

The protest campaign is scheduled to run until May 15, when organizers expect a million people to turn out to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel, which Palestinians call the "nakba" or "catastrophe".

It has said that some of those protesting at the border over the past few weeks tried to damage the border fence or plant explosives along it. With the steady decline of ammunition among the Palestinians, the protesters have now resorted to flinging stones over the border fence into Israeli territory.

Facing worldwide censure over its use of live fire in the protests, the Israeli army says it is protecting its border and takes such action only when protesters, some hurling firebombs and trying to plant explosives, approach too closely. One of them said over social media that they had "torched rooms used by the Occupation (Israel)".

Israel has repeatedly expressed concern over the possibility of a mass breach of the Gaza fence, in which Palestinians would stream across with terrorists among them, wreaking havoc.

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