After roughly a year and a half of weekly protests, some residents of the Gaza Strip question Hamas’s policy of leading ‘March of Return’ protests.
The latest of the weekly ‘March of Return’ protests along the Gaza border left 49 Palestinians injured on Friday, 21 of them allegedly from IDF gunfire, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported.
IDF forces, using tear gas and riot dispersal gear, contained the roughly 4,000 protesters, some of whom were spotted throwing IEDs toward the security fence. Several protesters were seen crossing the fence north of the Gaza Strip and running back to the Palestinian side, Walla News reported.
Roughly 18,000 have been wounded and 211 killed in the Hamas-led March of Return protests during the past 18 months, leading some to question their effectiveness.
Over the past several months, a group of Palestinian activists has been leading non-violent protests every second Wednesday in which people sing traditional Palestinian songs and perform traditional dances. These social events, reported by Haaretz as well as AP, attempt to educate children born in Gaza about the greater Palestinian identity and heritage – without any bloodshed or violence.
Hamas stated that the focus of the Friday protests is “child martyrs.”
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick responded, saying that boys and girls must never be “encouraged to participate in violence.”
Originally published on https://www.jpost.com