Palestinians stage rallies near Gaza-Israel buffer zone

<p>By Mohamed Majed</p> <p>GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinians on Friday converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation. </p> <p>In a statement, Gaza’s National Authority for Breaking the Siege called on the people of Gaza to take part in Friday’s demonstration, which was held under the slogan, “Prisoners' Day”.</p> <p>On Wednesday, thousands of Palestinians marked Palestinian Prisoners' Day (marked on April 17 of each year) by staging demonstrations across the Israeli-occupied West Bank. </p> <p>Protesters in Gaza demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel. </p> <p>They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities. </p> <p><br></p> <p>Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p>