At least 40 Palestinians have been wounded, including 22 by Israeli live ammunition, Palestinian Health Ministry says, as hundreds converge near Gaza-Israel fence on 65th week of "right to return" protests.

Medics are affected by tear gas smoke launched by Israeli troops as they intervene in a demonstration during the
Medics are affected by tear gas smoke launched by Israeli troops as they intervene in a demonstration during the "Great March of Return" at Israel-Gaza fence on July 5, 2019. (AA)

At least 40 Palestinian protesters were wounded, 22 of them with live ammunition, on Friday after being targeted by Israeli troops while protesting near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, Palestine's Health Ministry said.

Hundreds of Palestinians converged near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on the 65th week of "right to return" protests and against decades-long Israeli occupation.

Gaza's National Authority for Return and Breaking the Siege (NARBS), which organises weekly rallies, called on Palestinians to demonstrate under the slogan of "by our unity the plot will be downed," apparently in reference to the US-led conference in Bahrain where the economic part of the US compromise plan on the Middle East, dubbed "Deal of the Century," was unveiled.

Since March last year, the Palestinians in Gaza have held weekly rallies along the buffer zone to demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the establishment of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel's 12-year blockade on Gaza, which has destroyed the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Since the rallies, hundreds of protesters have been killed – and thousands more wounded – by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone in eastern Gaza.

Deal of the Century

US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said on Wednesday that the next steps in Washington's Middle East peace plan will be revealed next week, according to the news site Axios.

When Kushner unveiled the economic portion of the plan, he refrained to disclose the more anticipated political portion of it.

Based on leaks to the media, the "Deal of the Century" will call on the Palestinians to make major concessions to Israel regarding occupied Jerusalem's status and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine.

Source: AA