The protests will culminate on May 14 and 15, when the Palestinians mourn the 70th anniversary of Israel's creation.
Days after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, tensions in the Middle East have spiked sharply, raising concerns that the pending US Embassy move to Jerusalem will further ratchet up conflict with unpredictable outcomes for the Middle East, according to a CNN report.
Palestinian protesters have started fires on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza on Friday, damaging gas pipelines leading to the enclave, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said.
Despite Israel's repeated use of lethal force, Gaza residents once again flocked toward the Israeli border on Friday, to demand the right of return to their homelands and to reject US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Palestine will always be at the centre of Indonesia's diplomacy", he said at the opening of a meeting of Islamic scholars. More than two-thirds of Gaza residents are descendants of refugees.
"What's the problem with hundreds of thousands breaking through a fence that is not a border?"
On Friday, thousands of protesters gathered in five tent camps set up weeks ago, each several hundred yards from the border. ( TRTWorld ) Israeli snipers target unarmed Palestinian protesters that come at a close distance to the border.
The area was quickly engulfed in thick black smoke from the burning tires.
The Israeli military has faced global and domestic criticism over its use of live fire, with the United Nations and European Union calling for an independent investigation rejected by Israel.
The protests have attracted broad participation and support among the 1.8 million residents of the open-air prison known as Gaza who have suffered for more than a decade under the brutal Israeli-Egyptian blockade, which has resulted in the shortage of critical medical supplies and frequent power outages. Helping reinforce the Israeli blockade, Egypt has kept the Rafah crossing point, Gaza's main gate to the outside world, closed most of the time since the Hamas takeover.
Egypt opens the crossing from time to time, mainly to allow people in special categories, including medical patients and Gaza residents studying overseas, to leave the territory or return to it.
The soldier was struck by a vehicle, and the driver fled the scene.
Friday's rally took place before a large stage with a view of the Dead Sea and the West Bank. Jordanian, Palestinian, and green Muslim Brotherhood flags flew over the crowd of some 7,000.
Hundreds of guests will attend the opening event, including the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman; the daughter and son-in-law of the president, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin; and Jason Greenblatt, the United States special representative for worldwide negotiations.