33 Palestinians injured in Gaza border protests: health ministry
AP Photo/Felipe Dana
Some 10,000 Palestinians protested along the Gaza border on Friday in the fourth consecutive week since Hamas and Israel agreed on a ceasefire in November.
The Palestinian health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said 33 people were injured in border clashes, while Israel's Defense Forces (IDF) said no Palestinians succeeded in breaching the border fence.
Since March 30, at least 235 Palestinians, including 50 members of Hamas, and two Israeli soldiers have been killed during the weekly "Great March of Return."
The protests often turned violent, with Palestinians launching explosive balloons from Gaza towards Israel, causing great damage to fields adjacent to the border, as well as damaging the security fence and throwing explosive devices at Israelis soldiers.
In November, Hamas and Israel agreed on a ceasefire after a major flareup which later saw Avigdor Lieberman resign as Israel's defense minister. Liberman accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being soft on the Islamist group.
Friday's border protests came as employees of the Hamas began collecting their salaries for a second month on Friday, after Qatar pumped more cash into the territory with Israel's blessings.
The cash transfers were first approved by Israel, which disqualified hundreds of Gazans from receiving funds based on connections to Hamas’ military wing.
Qatar, however, reportedly thinks Israel’s ability to prevent the money from reaching the wrong hands is limited.
Hundreds of employees of Hamas government departments waited in long queues outside banks in the Gaza Strip from the early hours.
The Hamas-run finance ministry announced in a statement to local media that the money would be distributed over the next two days, with employees receiving 50 percent of their salaries.
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