Gaza, (ANTARA News) - Around 180 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers on the borders between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, the Gaza health ministry said.

Among the 59 admitted to hospitals, a 20-year-old female paramedic and a 10-year-old boy were in critical condition, Ashraf al-Qedra, the Gaza health ministry spokesman, told reporters.

Hundreds of young Palestinians gathered in eastern Gaza close to the borders with Israel, calling for the end of an Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007, eyewitnesses said.

They also released dozens of arson balloons from eastern Gaza into Israel, while cutting and pulling the barbed wires of the border security fence, according to eyewitnesses and local media.

In response, Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear gas canisters and live gunshots at the demonstrators, they said.

Medical sources and paramedics said dozens suffered suffocation after inhaling tear gas, and around five were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers` gunfire.

Earlier in the day, Hamas called for people to join the 23rd Friday "Great March of Return" anti-Israel rally through mosques` loudspeakers.

Senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya has said the weekly protests would only stop when Israel lifts its siege on Gaza, Xinhua reported.

The anti-Israel rally, which began on March 30, has so far left 171 Palestinians killed and more than 18,000 others wounded, according to a Gaza health ministry statement.

Israel withdrew troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but has built up settlements in the West Bank, angering Palestinians who see an obstacle to their statehood hopes. The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014.

An Israeli court broke new judicial ground on Tuesday by giving legal recognition to a settlement built without Israeli government authorization on privately owned Palestinian land.

Most countries consider all of the settlements built on territories that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal. Israel disputes this.

Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas that are also home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Chaidar Abdullah
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