Gazans used catapults and sling-shots to launch stones at Israeli forces, and some Palestinians brought wire-cutters to cut through the border fence, ignoring leaflets dropped by the Israeli military warning residents not to approach the frontier. "I wrote "we will be back" on my kite".
Hamas says the protests are aimed at breaking a crippling border blockade that was imposed by Israel and Egypt after the group overran the territory in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliament elections. Despite worldwide condemnation, the Israeli army has maintained its rules of engagement, determined to stop protesters reaching the border fence. "Israeli soldiers will be anxious those fire-kites may fall on their heads or torch bushes around them", said Mohammad Abu Mustafa, 17, who lost his right leg a few months ago after being shot by an Israeli soldier.
As of 2pm on Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that Israeli forces shot and killed a 25-year-old, handicapped Palestinian man during the day's protests.
"We are implanting an idea in the minds of people across the world that Palestinians have rights and they hope for the right of return", Abu Shariek said. They are expected to culminate on Nakba day, May 15, the date which marks the so-called "catastrophe" when millions of Palestinian marchers had to flee their homes after the creation of the state of Israel. Hiding behind allegations that the Palestinians attacked the Israeli troops, the Israeli forces responded with superior force that was out of proportion to the nature of the protests.
"We will stay here until we reclaim our lands", said Ahmed Nasman, 21, speaking in a protest tent camp east of Gaza City, as activists near him prepared kites.
Israel has vowed to put an end to attacks and attempts to damage the border fence that stands there.
Since early hours of the day, thousands of Palestinians gathered at the eastern area of the Gaza Strip to carry on their anti-Israel rallies that were held in five areas along the borders with Israel.
It accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of using the protests as cover to carry out violence.
The flyers went on to warn that Israeli forces would "use any means necessary" to preempt perceived "acts of violence" by Palestinian protesters. Most kites were stitched together in the colors of the Palestinian flag.
The border blockade has trapped almost all of them in the tiny coastal territory, gutted the economy and deepened poverty.