UPDATE 2 – Gazan protesters decry occupation, urge national unity

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

UPDATES NUMBER OF INJURED; DECK UPDATED</p> <p>By Mohamed Majed and Hidayah al-Saeedi</p> <p>GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – At least 60 Palestinian protesters, including four women and 15 children, were injured Friday by Israeli troops while demonstrating along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, Gaza’s Health Ministry said in a statement.</p> <p>The statement gave no details on the nature of the protesters’ injuries.</p> <p>Earlier Friday, hundreds of Palestinians converged along the fraught buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation. </p> <p>In a statement, the National Authority for Breaking the Siege (made up of several Gaza-based resistance groups) urged Palestinians to take part in Friday’s protest, which was held under the slogan “National unity and an end to division.”</p> <p>Since 2007, the Palestinian political scene has been marred by division between rival factions Hamas and Fatah — despite several attempts at reconciliation.</p> <p>Protesters also 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 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities. </p> <p>* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat