A total of 152 people have been martyred by Israeli forces during the ongoing protests in Gaza, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Thursday.

Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement that 18 children, two journalists and two health personnel were among those killed.

Israeli army has been using disproportionate force against Palestinians protesting in the Gaza Strip since March.

Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

– Anadolu Agency