Clashes erupt on Israel-Gaza border on third Friday of protests

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) –


Clashes erupted along the Gaza-Israel border as thousands of protesters gathered for a third consecutive Friday, AFP journalists said.

Limited clashes between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli soldiers began in at least two places along the border, AFP reporters said, with larger protests expected after Friday Muslim prayers.

At least eight Palestinians were wounded, the health ministry in Gaza said, with one shot in the head.

Most were injured east of Gaza City, but two were hurt in clashes near Al-Bureij in central Gaza.

Many protesters left for midday prayers but larger numbers are expected to gather in five spots along the border on Friday afternoon.

In northern Gaza, a large Israeli flag was burned.

Israeli forces have killed 33 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others since protests that began on March 30 and have led to clashes.

The protests, planned to last six weeks, are calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes that are now inside Israel -- which Israelis say essentially amounts to calling for the country's destruction.