Israel Kills Two Palestinians, Wounds Hundreds at Gaza Protest

11 August, 2018, 23:44 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman climbs down from a tank in the Golan Heights

On Friday, a few thousand protesters gathered at various locations along the border, setting tyres ablaze and throwing stones, but in smaller numbers than in previous weeks, AFP correspondents said.

Gaza's Health Ministry said Abdullah al-Qutati, 26, was shot and killed and 40 others were wounded by live fire.

Israeli men stand next to a vehicle that was damaged after a rocket fired by terrorists from the Gaza Strip fell in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on August 9, 2018.

Hamas said a ceasefire had been reached "on the basis of mutual calm", and had gone into effect at midnight on Thursday.

The implication was that Israel had ceased its reprisal attacks in the Strip because Hamas had halted rocket attacks on Israeli communities, but did not see itself obligated to a truce.

Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Hamas, a group sworn to its destruction, of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the border fence and attack civilians and soldiers.

Israel's military says its forces have struck a Hamas position in Gaza after Palestinians rallying at the Gaza border threw a grenade and explosive devices at troops stationed there.

Over 180 mortar shells and rockets were launched by Hamas throughout Wednesday and Thursday, the Israeli military said.

It would be the third such truce in a month.

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It was one of the most serious escalations since the 2014 Gaza war and followed months of rising tensions.

"In light of Hamas statements and the evacuation of Hamas outposts, the Southern Command chose to increase readiness and to close a number of roadways in the Gaza periphery", read the statement released by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

"Unlike the run-up to past wars, there is already a sustained diplomatic push to hammer out a ceasefire", he told AFP.

Palestinians have been protesting along the Gaza-Israel border on Fridays since late 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.

Violence erupted at the Gaza border Friday after the territory's militant Islamic Hamas rulers and Israel appeared to be honoring a cease-fire that ended two days of intense violence amid efforts by neighboring Egypt to negotiate between the two sides.

He had been shot and wounded in his pelvis during "The Great March of Return" protests east of the city of Rafah, located 30 kilometers south of Gaza City, on Friday.

One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

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