Israeli soldiers stationed near the Gaza Strip border fired Sunday toward the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Gaza City, injuring at least 25 people who were participating in protests marking Nakba (catastrophe) Day.

Gaza emergency services chief Adham Abu Salmeya said the Israelis fired first a smoke shell, then three artillery shells.

He said many children were among the injured, as large crowds gathered in the area to participate in marches marking the 63rd anniversary since hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees in 1948.

An Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said the Israeli military was checking the report.

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