Palestinian protesters in boats take part in a demonstration near the maritime border with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, calling for the lift of the Israeli blockade on the coastal Palestinian e AFP

Thousands of Palestinians Protest on Gaza Coast, Navy Fires Toward Flotilla

Gaza Health Ministry reports 49 wounded, of whom 10 were hospitalized ■ Military says demonstrators burned tires, threw stones and explosive device

The Israeli navy on Monday fired at a flotilla of dozens of naval vessels that departed the port in Gaza City and were heading toward Israeli waters.

Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated on the coast near the city, and the military fired toward them and used riot control measures. According to the military, demonstrators burned tires and throw stones, with some of them throwing an explosive device toward troops.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported 49 Palestinians were wounded, including 10 who were hospitalized. 

>> Israeli Army Reveals Barrier Against Hamas Naval Commandos

Israel has blockaded Gaza for over a decade, with Egypt's aid. The measures are necessary for national security reasons, Israel argues, as Gaza is ruled by the Islamist militant Hamas organization.

Activists have long tried to break the blockade by sea. In an attempt in 2010, Israeli soldiers stormed the Turkish boat Mavi Marmara, resulting in the deaths of 10 Turkish citizens and damaging ties.

Yaniv Kubovich and Almog Ben Zikri contributed to this report.

Trails of smoke from tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces are seen as Palestinians protest on the beach in the northern Gaza Strip on September 10, 2018. AFP

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