Expert Voices

Gaza protests spark deadly violence along Israeli border

Palestinian protestors run for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration commemorating Land Day, near the border with Israel
Palestinian protestors run from tear gas fired by Israeli forces near the Gaza-Israel border on March 30, 2018. Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP via Getty Images

The demonstration in Gaza Friday, during which at least 15 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,000 injured, marked the beginning of a protest effort slated to culminate on May 15. The campaign centers on Palestinian “right of return” demands, which Israel has rejected as anathema to its very existence as a homeland for the Jewish people.

Why it matters: The protests are the most intense confrontations between Palestinians and Israel since the 2014 Gaza war. Coming at a highly volatile time, with both the peace process and internal Palestinian politics in crisis, these protests are likely to escalate the weeks ahead and may spread to the West Bank.