The Israeli authorities have vowed to step up their response measures, if clashes on the country's border with Gaza continue, the Associated Press said Saturday, citing the chief military spokesman.
A six-week-long protest started on Friday with large crowds of Palestinians gathering near the border fence, while smaller groups rushed forward, throwing stones and burning tires. The Israeli forces responded with live fire, rubber-coated steel pellets and tear gas.
The protest, named "The Great Return March" is dedicated to the so-called Land Day, commemorating the day in 1976, when Israeli troops killed six Arabs protesting against the confiscation of land.
On May 15, the Palestinians will commemorate Nakba (disaster in Arabic), when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced after Israel announced its independence in 1948.
The protest strives to attract attention to the problem of people, who have become refugees because of Nakba, as well as of their descendants. The event has been organized by such groups as the Hamas movement, the Fatah party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine among others.