A spokeswoman for the Israeli military claimed troops stationed along the border did not use live fire when Reuters contacted them. TheIsraeli official confirmed that some 7,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstrations.
Protesters have staged 18 months of weekly demonstrations dubbed the "Great March of Return," calling for an end to a security blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt around the Gaza Strip, and for Palestinians to have the right to return to land from which their families fled from or were forced to leave since Israel's 1948 founding. Israel rejects any such return, saying that doing so would eliminate its Jewish majority.
At least 290 Palestinians were killed during the 2018 protests alone, not counting those from this year, according to the Israel-Palestine Timeline. More than 17,000 have been injured by Israeli fire in the protests.
Israel seized Gaza in a 1967 war, but supposedly pulled out its settlers and troops in 2005. However, according to the author of The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla within the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 2010, Israel has given itself the right to shoot on sight at anyone who enters the no-go buffer zone between Gaza and Israel.
Gaza is also dependent on "Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications and other utilities, (and) currency." The Israeli military also gets to decide who is "classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker."
The Isreali government claims the blockade is necessary to stop weapons reaching Hamas, the Islamist group that has fought three wars with Israel.