Thousands of Palestinians demonstrate at Gaza border for a third week, hundreds injured

A female demonstrator is treated after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes at a protest at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on April 13, 2018. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

Israeli military officials had warned Palestinians to steer clear of the fence Friday and deployed drones and sharpshooters.

But the Israeli military said at least 10,000 people demonstrated in five locations. Some attempted to damage security infrastructure, including with firebombs and an explosive device, the army said. At one point, the protesters tried unsuccessfully to fly a firebomb over the border with a kite.

Demonstrators burned tires at the border, emitting large plumes of black smoke. It was a tactic, protesters said, to shield themselves from Israeli sniper fire.

Some Palestinians, mostly young men, approached the border area east of Gaza City — where an expanse of empty farmland is interrupted by barbed wire and Israeli watchtowers — and some used catapults to send rocks flying over the 10-foot-high fence.

Since the demonstrations began last month, Israeli forces have killed at least 28 Palestinians, according to local health officials.

The demonstration on Friday was smaller than in the previous two weeks, and the death toll was lower, with the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza reporting one death, that of 28-year-old Islam

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