By Mohammed Majid
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - Hundreds of Palestinians across the Gaza Strip headed Friday toward the security fence area to participate in the weekly anti-occupation protests known as the Great March of Return.
They were holding Palestinian flags.
The Higher National Commission of the Great March of Return and Breaking of the Gaza Siege (formed by Palestinian factions) named this Friday's rallies 'We are ready to protect Al-Aqsa" in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first attempt to burn Al-Aqsa Mosque and the continued repressive procedures by the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem.
The attack was carried out by a radical pro-Israeli Australian national Dennis Michael Rohan and caused heavy damages to the mosque.
In a previous statement, the commission said that "Israel is responsible for any attacks or assaults on the protesters of the marches".
Since the Gaza rallies began in March last year, nearly 270 protesters have been martyred -- and thousands more wounded -- by Israeli forces at the security fence areas with Gaza.
Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s 12-year-old blockade to the Gaza Strip, which has shattered the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of free movement in and out from Gaza and prevented many basic amenities.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara