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21 April 2018, 04:24 | Bernice Figueroa
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GAZA, Palestinian Territory - Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protest on Gaza's border with Israel on Friday, some burning tires or flying kites with flaming rags dangling from their tails.
Their deaths bring the number of Gazans killed by Israeli forces in demonstrations and clashes since March 30 to 38, according to Gaza's health ministry.
On the eve of Friday's protests, a group of young people worked with coloured paper and empty coke bottles under a tree in an olive orchard hundreds of metres from the Israeli border east of Gaza City.
Despite the warning, protestors over the course of the morning on Friday protestors began to gather at sit-in camps along the border, burning effigies of Israeli soldiers.
Hamas, the terror organization that controls Gaza, says the protests are aimed at breaking a border blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel after Israeli troops pulled out of the area in 2005.
Several Israeli communities are located near the border. The Israeli army published an image of one of the kites painted with a swastika.
The military has said protestors have tried to destroy the border fence with explosives, firebombs and other means. There were about 20,000 and 30,000 protesters respectively in the two weeks before.
In addition, 729 protesters were hurt, including 156 hit by live fire, the ministry said, adding that five of the wounded were in serious condition.
Israel's Intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said on Friday that targeted killings of Hamas leadership will be renewed if Islamic Jihad follows through on Thursday's threats to kill Israeli soldiers and generals.
"Several kites crossed into Israel and were extinguished as needed".
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip announce a major, peaceful demonstration to be held on the border to claim the right to return to lands now held by Israel.
For protests set for Friday, Gazans were hoping to send dozens of kites over the fence, including some carrying notes telling Israelis "there is no place for you in Palestine".
"Thanks to the IDF's activity, week by week there is a drop in the number of participants in the riots".
Israel has ruled out the demand, arguing that the return of Palestinians to what is now Israel would outnumber its Jewish majority.
The protest campaign, dubbed The Great March of Return, is leading up to May 15, when Palestinians mark Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, commemorating their displacement around the time of Israel's founding in 1948. Israel's position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.
Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and parts of Syria's Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967.
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