Posts Tagged ‘March of Return’

Hezbollah: “We will respond to any attack from Israel”

November 10, 2018

“I salute the families of the martyrs,” Nasrallah said. “Thanks to martyrs’ sacrifices, the resistance has achieved all its victories

BY YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
 NOVEMBER 10, 2018 17:16

Image result for Hassan Nasrallah, pictures

Iran-Hezbollah terror

Iran’s sponsorship of Hezbollah includes $800 million in annual financial support, the supply of 130,000 rockets and missiles. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah condemned normalization with Israel in a televised address Saturday, The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv reported.


The condemnation comes after Mohammad al-Emadi, chairman of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, visited Gaza, transferring $15 million to the Palestinian coastal enclave in coordination with Israel.

“I salute the families of the martyrs,” Nasrallah said. “Thanks to martyrs’ sacrifices, the resistance has achieved all its victories. The blood of our martyrs has protected our land and Hezbollah’s rocket power.”

“The source of our strength are our missiles because the Lebanese army is not allowed to acquire advanced missiles,” Nasrallah said.

“Netanyahu believes that the key [to the conflict] is power and not the occupation,” he continued. “His problem, though, is that we have the power. We will respond to any Israeli strike on Lebanon and will not accept any aggression by the enemy against our land.”

“We condemn any form of normalization with the Zionist entity,” Nasrallah said. “I say to the Palestinian people, do not lose hope over the Arab states’ normalization with Israel; what before went on behind the scenes now is taking place publicly. The current normalization has put an end to Arab hypocrisy, and removed the mask from the swindlers and hypocrites.

“Those who march and fall in Gaza’s Marches of Return give us hope because they resist the pressures exerted on them,” he added. “If the Syrian people and the government had not resisted the pressure, we would see Netanyahu in Damascus.”

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Nasrallah also attacked the international community in the aftermath of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “While they complain about the murder, they ignore the crimes Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen.”

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Hamas leader: ‘On our way’ to ending Israel blockade

August 21, 2018

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said Tuesday that an end to Israel’s more than decade-long blockade of Gaza was “around the corner”, as talk of a possible truce deal intensifies.

Indirect negotiations between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel brokered by Egyptian and UN officials have reportedly included discussion on easing the blockade, but by no means a complete lifting of it.

Speaking to thousands of Palestinians during prayers for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, Haniya did not directly address the possiblity of a truce, mooted in Israeli and Palestinian media for weeks.

© AFP | The leader of Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement, Ismail Haniya (Haniyeh), tells thouands of Muslim worshippers an end to Israel’s more than decade-long blockade is “around the corner”, as talk of a possible truce deal intensifes

“Thanks to these marches and resistance, we are just around the corner from closing the page on this unjust blockade,” he said, referring to months of protests along the Gaza-Israel border, some of which have drawn a deadly response from the Israeli army.

He seemed to refer to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s concerns over a truce that does not include his Palestinian Authority, based in the occupied West Bank.

Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas have been deeply divided for more than a decade.

Haniya said any agreement would come “with a national consensus and an Arab safety net in order to establish the necessary safeguards to implement what is agreed upon”.

“We are on our way to ending this unjust blockade of Gaza,” he said.

Two Palestinians were shot dead during border protests on Friday, bringing to 171 the number killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip since demonstrations began on March 30.

One Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper.

Israel accuses Hamas of being behind the protests and encouraging Gazans to attempt to breach the heavily guarded border fence.

UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov and Egyptian officials have been seeking to broker a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, which have fought three wars since 2008.

Israeli media have speculated it could involve an easing of Israel’s crippling blockade of Gaza in exchange for calm on the border and the return of the bodies of two soldiers killed in 2014.

Israel is also seeking the return of two Israeli citizens believed held by Hamas.

The Gaza border has been notably calmer in recent days as speculation over the indirect negotiations has intensified.

AFP

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Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh: “Gaza is on the way to ending the blockade”

August 21, 2018

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made a speech on Eid al-Adha and spoke of the situation in the Gaza Strip. “There will be no political price for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”

BY YASSER OKBI/MAARIV

AUGUST 21, 2018 09:27

Palestinian Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gives a speech after prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha festival, in Gaza City August 21, 2018. (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)

Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday, “Gaza is on the way to ending the blockade thanks to your resilient stance. There will be no political price for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”

Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas movement, gave a speech to the citizens of Gaza on Tuesday morning in celebration of Eid al-Adha.

The Hamas leader clarified, “any humanitarian aid will be in national accordance with an Arab security net to offer suitable warranty, but we emphasize that opposition is the best warranty there is.”

Haniyeh further stated, “Our holiday brings good tidings despite the [malicious] plots. We are witness to the death of the harshest attack on us – the Deal of the Century, which no one can pass.”

Khalil al-Hayya, deputy Hamas leader, said on Friday during his visit to Egypt, “the Palestinian factors have reached an agreement about the reconciliation, the end of the blockade and the calm with Israel.”

“There are international projects that will be implemented in Gaza soon, and we are interested in reconciliation based on partnership,” added al-Hayya. He included, “we are at the home stretch of the Egyptian, Qatari and international efforts to achieve calm and are doing everything to ease [the conditions of] the blockade. However, the March of Return continues until the blockade is lifted.”

Translated by Hadas Labrisch
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https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamas-leader-Haniyeh-Gaza-on-the-way-to-ending-the-blockade-565366

Israeli troops come under fire along Gaza border; no injuries

August 20, 2018

Gunman said to fire upon patrol from close range; soldiers return fire, apparently killing him; army looking into assailant’s identity

Israeli soldiers guard on the border with the Gaza Strip on May 29, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers guard on the border with the Gaza Strip on May 29, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

An IDF patrol came under fire by a Palestinian gunman in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, the army said.

The troops returned fire and hit the gunman.

There were no injuries among the Israeli soldiers, according to the military.

Army sources told the Ynet news site the gunman opened fire at the soldiers from close range, from a distance of 10-20 meters (30-60 feet) from the border fence. Soldiers fired back and hit the gunman, apparently killing him. His body lay near the fence on the Gazan side.

The military was checking his identity, and whether he was a member of the Hamas terror group.

On July 20, an IDF soldier, Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi, was killed by a Gaza sniper. A second sniper attack days later moderately wounded another Israeli soldier.

Reports have proliferated in recent days that a long-term ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is imminent, after months of on-again, off-again violence. A senior Hamas official said over the weekend that negotiations for such an accord were in “the final stretch.”

The past months have seen repeated rounds of intense violence between Israel and Hamas, along with weekly border protests at the Gaza border that have regularly included rioting, attacks on Israeli troops and attempts to infiltrate and sabotage the border fence.

A picture taken on August 17, 2018 shows tear gas canisters thrown by Israeli forces at Palestinian protesters during a demonstration along the border of the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

Israeli communities, agricultural land, and parks on the Gaza periphery have suffered from hundreds of fires as a result of incendiary kites and balloons flown over the border from Gaza. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials.

While no rockets have been launched at Israel in over a week as talks have progressed, residents of the coastal enclave have continued to release incendiary balloons at bordering Israeli towns nearly every day.

On Friday, thousands of Gazans demonstrated along the Israeli border near the Erez Crossing in weekly Hamas-backed “March of Return” demonstrations. Hamas leaders had urged the public to participate in Friday’s protests. Rioters hurled rocks, improvised bombs and Molotov cocktails at soldiers and burned tires to create a smokescreen. Others launched incendiary balloons toward Israel.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reported on Friday that two men had been killed and around 250 injured, of which at least 25 were said hit by live fire.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday said the government’s “endgame” for Gaza was the toppling of its Hamas rulers to allow the Palestinian residents of the coastal enclave to enjoy the economic benefits of peace with Israel.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-troops-come-under-fire-along-gaza-border-no-injuries/

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Israel Closes Gaza Crossing Following Clashes at Border Protests

August 19, 2018
The Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP

Israel announced Sunday that it has closed the Erez crossing for movement, with the exception of pressing humanitarian cases, due to the ongoing clashes at the border with Gaza that carried on over the weekend.

The Erez crossing, situated along the northern part of the Strip, is used for the movement of people between the Strip and Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that he made the decision to close the crossing after a situation assessment he made on Saturday due to ‘violent events at the border last Friday.’

On Friday afternoon, Gaza’s Health Ministry said that two Palestinians died and hundreds more were injured in clashes with the Israeli military amid a protest. The Israeli military stated that several Palestinians attempted to breach the border fence and that thousands disrupted order in the area, prompting forces on the ground to use riot dispersal means as well as live fire to disperse the demonstrators.

Last week, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing, the commercial crossing through which fuel, gas and other provisions are passed into the coastal enclave.

The crossing had been closed due to the hostilities that erupted between Israel and the Palestinians after several weeks throughout which Israel’s south was targeted by incessant rocket fire.

Also last week, Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement that went into effect on Wednesday.

Israeli ministers discussed Wednesday the details of the agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Egypt, in a special meeting on the situation in Gaza.

The understandings are based on the principles that were agreed upon by the parties at the end of the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. These include, in the first stage, lifting restrictions at the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing and on the fishing area in Gaza, in addition to rehabilitation of Gaza infrastructure, in return for a cessation of attacks from both sides.

The agreement was approved in principle by the security cabinet minister on Sunday during a cabinet discussion, though not by vote. The only ones who objected, as publicly announced, were  Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Lieberman did not object but supported the position of the defense establishment in favor of the agreement. On Wednesday, the agreement entered into force, the details were again presented and the security cabinet received an update on the progress.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-closes-gaza-crossing-over-ongoing-tensions-at-the-border-1.6388771

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Israel closes people crossing with Gaza — After firebombs and IEDs hurled at the border fence, Israel says

August 19, 2018

 

Israel closed its only crossing for people with the Gaza Strip on Sunday except for humanitarian cases over border incidents that saw protests and clashes at the weekend, an Israeli official said.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli defence ministry unit that oversees the passage confirmed that the Erez crossing had been closed.

Border protests and clashes on Friday left two Palestinians dead by Israeli gunfire.

Israel’s army said firebombs and IEDs were also hurled at the border fence, while a number of Palestinians briefly crossed into Israeli territory.

Image result for Erez crossing, photos

The closure and border incidents occurred despite attempts by Egypt and UN officials to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The spokeswoman for the defence ministry unit, known as COGAT, did not say how long the crossing would be closed.

The Palestinian Authority civilian affairs office in Gaza also confirmed the closure except for medical cases and Palestinians seeking to cross back into the enclave.

Israel has enforced an air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, but grants permission to a limited number of people to cross for various reasons.

Israel had just last week reopened its only goods crossing with Gaza after closing it to most deliveries for more than a month over border tensions.

Protests and clashes began on the Gaza border on March 30 and have continued at varying levels since then.

At least 171 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire during that time. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in July.

There have also been several severe military flare-ups, including three since July.

UN officials and Egypt have been seeking to secure a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel to allow for humanitarian issues in the impoverished enclave of two million people to be addressed.

Israel is demanding calm and a return of the remains of two soldiers Hamas is believed to be holding.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

AFP

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Peace Between Palestinians and the Jews? Abbas calls for Intensifying “Popular Resistance” Against Israel

August 18, 2018

The Palestinians, he said, should not “underestimate the importance of popular resistance.”

BY KHALED ABU TOAMEH
 AUGUST 18, 2018 18:51

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraord

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey. (photo credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called on Palestinians to “keep the ground aflame with popular resistance” against Israel. The Palestinians, he said, should not “underestimate the importance of popular resistance.”
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In closing remarks in Ramallah to the PLO Central Council, a key decision-making body, Abbas called on Palestinians to protest at Khan al-Ahmar, the Bedouin shantytown located east of Ma’aleh Adumim which is slated for demolition.
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He claimed the decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar and evict its 180 residents was part of an Israeli plan to divide the West Bank.
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Abbas repeated his demand that Hamas hand full control over the Gaza Strip to the Ramallah-based PA government. Otherwise, he said, Hamas should assume full responsibility over the coastal enclave.
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“There should be one state, one system, one law and one security force in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas added. “If they [Hamas] don’t want to hand the responsibilities over to the Palestinian Authority, then they should assume their responsibilities.”
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Abbas said that any funds earmarked for the Gaza Strip should be channeled only through the PA government.
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The PLO council, which concluded a three-day conference, reaffirmed Palestinian opposition to US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East and vowed to pursue efforts to thwart it.
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“The US administration is a partner of the Israeli occupation government,” the council alleged. “It is part of the problem, and not part of the solution.”
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The Palestinians will continue with their policy of suspending political relations with the US administration until it backtracks on its “illegal decisions” regarding Jerusalem, refugees and settlements, the council said in its statement.
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It was referring to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, cut US funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, and what Palestinians perceive as US support for settlements.
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The PLO delegates affirmed their commitment to the idea of holding an international conference for peace in the Middle East under international sponsorship, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
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With regards to Palestinian-Israeli relations, the PLO council said, “The relationship of our people with the Israeli government is based on a conflict between our people and our state, which is under occupation, and the force of occupation. Our direct goal is the independence of the State of Palestine. This requires moving from the phase of self-rule to the phase of statehood.”
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The council approved previous decisions taken by other Palestinian institutions, including the Palestinian National Council, to carry out a “comprehensive definition of political, economic, and security ties” with Israel, “revoke recognition of Israel until it recognizes the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, and suspend all forms of security coordination [with Israel].”
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The PLO council also decided to form a “higher committee” to “safeguard” UNRWA and pursue efforts to provide the needed funds so that the UN agency would be able to assume its responsibilities toward Palestinian refugees.
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Referring to current efforts to achieve a long-term truce between Israel and the Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip, the council said it was categorically opposed to “suspicious projects aimed at separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the eternal capital of Palestine, Jerusalem.”
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The PLO council claimed the Egyptian and UN-sponsored efforts to achieve a truce in return for humanitarian and economic aid to the Gaza Strip were part of Trump’s unrevealed peace plan.
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“The truce with the Israeli occupation is the national responsibility of the PLO, which is the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” the council said. “It is not a factional issue.”
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The PLO council warned that the talk about humanitarian and economic projects in the Gaza Strip was aimed at “destroying the Palestinian national project and liquidating the Palestinian cause.” It stressed there will be “no state in the Gaza Strip, and no state without the Gaza Strip.”
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The council called on the Palestinian Authority government to immediately cancel all measures it had taken with regard to salaries and financial payments to civil servants in the Gaza Strip. It also praised the “heroic” Hamas-sponsored protests along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which are being held in the context of the so-called “March of Return.”
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The PLO council called on Palestinians to step up and expand the “popular resistance” against Israel and support the anti-Israel BDS movement.
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Thousands protest near Gaza border amid reports of imminent truce

August 17, 2018

At least 7 said injured in violent clashes with IDF; incendiary balloon sparks fire near kibbutz; defense officials say day’s events will be test of Hamas’s intent to ensure calm

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers in defensive positions on an embankment near the Gaza border during a violent Palestinian protest, July 27, 2018 (Courtesy IDF)

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers in defensive positions on an embankment near the Gaza border during a violent Palestinian protest, July 27, 2018 (Courtesy IDF)

Despite talk of an imminent truce in the Gaza Strip, thousands of Palestinian protesters once again gathered near the territory’s border with Israel Friday for the weekly Hamas-backed ‘March of Return’ demonstrations, with some rioters attacking Israeli soldiers along the fence.

Around 3,000 people were reported to be participating in the rallies at several points along the border with Israel. Some were hurling rocks at soldiers and burning tires to create a smokescreen. Others launched balloons carrying pictures of so-called “martyrs” who had been killed by Israel. The IDF said it fired at three people who attempted to sabotage the security fence.

Palestinian media reported at least 7 people wounded by IDF fire.

Meanwhile an incendiary balloon launched from the Strip sparked a fire near Kibbutz Be’eri. Firefighters were at the scene.

Sources in the Defense Ministry said the events of the day would be a test of Hamas’s willingness or ability to enforce calm as part of a deal.

An unconfirmed Lebanese television report Thursday said the truce was set to last for a year and see the establishment of a cargo shipping connection between Gaza and Cyprus.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he would remain in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv to receive constant updates about what was happening along the border.

A female Palestinian protester holds a slingshot during a demonstration at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on August 10, 2018. (AFP/Said Khatib)

The army stressed that its preparations ahead of Friday’s demonstrations has been no different than in the previous four months.

Over the past four months the “March of Return” protests have led to deadly clashes which saw Israeli security forces facing gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts — sometimes successful — to damage or cross the border fence.

At least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the weekly protests began, a Hamas ministry says. Hamas has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members.

One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

In addition to the border clashes, southern Israel has experienced hundreds of fires as a result of incendiary kites and balloons flown over the border from Gaza. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials.

Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/army-braces-for-fresh-gaza-violence-amid-reports-of-imminent-truce/

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Cease-fire follows another Hamas-Israel flare-up

August 10, 2018

Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers and Israel appear to be honoring a cease-fire that ended two days of an intense flare-up in violence amid efforts by neighboring Egypt to negotiate between the two sides.

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Israel’s military said on Friday that no rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel overnight and it conducted no airstrikes. Israel’s government hasn’t confirmed the truce.

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In this July 21, 2018 file photo, Israeli firefighters and soldiers on the Israeli Gaza Border attempt to extinguish a fire caused by a incendiary balloon launched by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. (AP)

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Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV reported late Thursday that an Egypt-brokered deal had taken hold “on the basis of mutual calm.”

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Israel and Hamas have come close to serious conflict in recent weeks after four months of violence along Gaza’s border following Hamas-organized protests there.

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At least 163 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including 120 protesters, since then. During that time, a Gaza sniper killed an Israeli soldier.

AFP

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Israel-Palestinians: Amid lull in fighting, Hamas says will resume border protests

August 10, 2018

Spokesperson for the terror group says Palestinians will ‘challenge the Israeli war machine’ in ‘March of Return’ demonstrations on Friday

Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 3, 2018. (AFP/Said Khatib)

Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 3, 2018. (AFP/Said Khatib)

The Hamas terrorist group on Friday said the so-called “March of Return” border demonstrations would continue unimpeded later in the day, despite a cessation of hostilities with Israel clinched the night before.

The announcement came after a 12-hour lull in fighting, following two days that saw the heaviest exchange of Palestinian rocket fire and reprisal Israeli airstrikes since the 2014 Gaza war.

For the past four months there have been near-weekly, violent protests along the Israel-Gaza border organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim tweeted on Friday that demonstrators would continue to “break the siege” on the Gaza Strip.

“Every time the Israeli killing machine attempts to break our people’s will to continue its struggle and marches, it fails to do so,” he wrote. “Today our people will head to the ‘Marches of Return’ to challenge the Israeli war machine.”

“Our Palestinian people has a long-lasting, struggling soul,” the Hamas spokesperson wrote. “It will continue its resistance in all of its forms until it gains its freedom, independence and right to a dignified life.”

A plume of smoke rises from the remains of a building west of Gaza City that was targeted by the Israeli Air Force in response to a rocket attack that hit southern Israel earlier in the day on August 9, 2018. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Over the past four months the “March of Return” protests have led to deadly clashes which saw Israeli security forces facing gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts — sometimes successful — to damage or cross the border fence.

At least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the weekly protests began, the Hamas ministry says. Hamas has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members.

One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

In addition to the border clashes, southern Israel has experienced hundreds of fires as a result of incendiary kites and balloons flown over the border from Gaza. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials.

Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/amid-lull-in-fighting-hamas-says-gazans-will-resume-border-protests/

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