290 Palestinians Injured in Gaza, West Bank

290 Palestinians Injured in Gaza, West Bank290 Palestinians Injured in Gaza, West Bank

At least 290 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory while marking a “Day of Rage”, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

At least 66 of those injured on Friday during clashes in the occupied West Bank, including East Beit-ul-Moqaddas, and the Gaza Strip were hit by live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets, the group added, Al Jazeera reported.

Israeli authorities also lifted restrictions on Friday that had banned men of ages under 40 from using the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Beit-ul-Moqaddas-a move seen as a bid to ease Muslim anger.

Police said prayers there ended quietly on Friday.

Elsewhere, however, Israeli soldiers injured dozens of Palestinians–among them three journalists–during clashes outside the Nahal Oz military base in the Shujaiya area, near the Gaza border. Witnesses said the soldiers fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.

Hamas leader Fathi Hamad said his organization was in favor of the Intifada (uprising).

“We support and stand behind the Intifada.”

Protests have spread throughout the Palestinian territories and Israel since being triggered last month by Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Since the beginning of the month, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 53 Palestinians, including unarmed demonstrators, bystanders and suspected attackers.

Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a political science professor at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, said the protests throughout the Palestinian territory were driven by young people who “don’t care what the political leadership says, who don’t care what Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] says”.

“Youth [in Gaza] feel hopeless and helpless,” he said, explaining that three Israeli wars and the eight-year Israeli blockade have left much of the Strip in ruins.

“They feel like they have no chance of living like people anywhere else in the world.”

For the last three weeks, clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces on the heavily militarized Gaza border have increased in frequency.

Of the Palestinians killed so far this month, 16 of them were in Gaza.