March 28 (UPI) -- Palestinians urged tens of thousands of people to protest near the Gaza border Saturday, a day that marks the first anniversary of the Great March of Return.
The Great March of Return's organizing committee called for demonstrators to show up en masse to protest tents along the border with Israel while urging Palestinian demonstrators to refrain from violence Saturday, so Israel would not have an excuse to use force against them.
The weekly demonstrations held since last year have called on Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza and allow Palestinians to return to land in Israel they were displaced from more than 70 years ago.
As of March 22, Israeli forces have killed at least 195 Palestinians, including 41 children, since the demonstrations began on March 30, 2018, United Nations data show.
By the end of last year, more than 6,000 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition at protest sites and at least 122, including 21 children, had limbs amputated as a result of their wounds, a report published by a U.N. commission shows.
Amnesty International is calling on Israel not to use excessive force during the anniversary demonstrations.
"The shocking scale and horrific nature of the debilitating injuries inflicted by Israeli forces on Palestinian protesters in Gaza last year suggests Israel pursued a deliberate strategy to maim civilians," Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Amnesty International said. "These devastating injuries, and the ongoing shooting of protesters, highlight the urgent need for a worldwide arms embargo to be imposed on Israel."