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Palestinians in Gaza call for millions to join Great March of Return anniversary

On 30 March, it will be one year since the start of the weekly protests in the besieged Gaza Strip
A Palestinian woman during a protest near the border fence with Israel east of Jabalia in the central Gaza Strip in May (AFP)

The organisers behind Gaza's Great March of Return have called on millions of Palestinians to join a protest scheduled on 30 March to mark the one year anniversary of the weekly marches.

"We call on our people to commemorate Earth Day and to provide the biggest support for the Return March demonstrations," said the National Commission for the Great March of Return in a statement on Friday, referring to the environmental event also held on 30 March.

Gaza protests cancelled for first time after Israeli air strikes
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The call came hours after the protest was cancelled for the first time in nearly a year after Israeli jets hit the enclave on Thursday evening, following the launching of rockets at Tel Aviv. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have denied responsibility for the rockets.

An official from the organising committee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the protests were delayed "to protect our people due to the escalation and the Israeli aggression".

The weekly protests have called for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to former homes now inside Israel.

At least 255 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during border demonstrations and clashes.

Others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.