Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

Wintry weather and diplomacy cool down Gaza border protests

  • Fri, 09 Nov 2018 08:45
Author: 
Thu, 2018-11-08 22:43

GAZA: A seasonal shift in the weather and intensified international diplomacy are prompting Palestinians mounting protests along Gaza’s border with Israel to rethink their tactics.

Since the demonstrations started more than seven months ago, protesters routinely made attempts to breach Israel’s frontier fence and launched incendiary balloons and kites to burn forests and crops inside Israel.

Israeli forces have killed more than 219 Palestinians at the border protests, according to Gazan officials. An Israeli soldier was also killed by a Palestinian sniper.

The protests draw tens of thousands of people after Muslim prayers on Fridays. But last week was the quietest so far, according to journalists who regularly cover the demonstrations.

Smoke from burning tires wafting toward Israel provided a measure of cover for Palestinian youngsters approaching the barrier, but a wintry change in wind direction sent the thick black clouds back into Gaza and Israeli tear gas deeper into the crowd of protesters, forcing their retreat.

Stepped-up efforts by Egypt to craft a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that could ease an Israeli blockade are also dampening the protests.

One official familiar with the talks said a cease-fire would include a gradual end to the rallies, or an agreement to hold them far from the fence, as well as an easing of Israeli restrictions on the movement of goods and people at the border.

Organizers have made clear the protests would continue until the long-standing Israeli border restrictions were lifted. Dubbed the “Great March of Return,” the campaign demands the rights to lands Palestinian families fled or were driven from during fighting around Israel’s founding in 1948.

One protester, wearing a black mask, said demonstrators were weighing up new ways to confront the Israeli military now that seasonal rains have begun.

“We may use fire crackers, noisy horns and we will try to cut through the fence. We will surprise them with things we will not make public now,” said the 23-year-old, who gave his name only as Hakim.

One idea, he said, was to build a giant slingshot to launch rocks across the barbed wire barrier.

A statement by a Palestinian group which claimed responsibility for balloon launchings said it would allow time for diplomacy to work before escalating action again.

“We will give a chance for an agreement to be reached that will ease the bitterness of the blockade imposed on our people,” said the Sons of Zwary group. The group was named after a Hamas engineer killed in Tunisia in an alleged Israeli assassination.

In the meantime, it said, it was preparing hundreds of incendiary devices.

Daoud Shehab, of the National Committee supervising the protests, said five assembly areas were being prepared for winter.

“We are placing plastic sheeting to cover large areas and we are also going to pave the ground where people usually gather,” he said.

Earlier Gaza’s Interior Ministry said Egyptian naval forces fired on a Palestinian fishing boat and killed a fisherman, but an Egyptian military source denied the report.

Egypt’s navy has in the past shot at Gazans whom it has accused of crossing the maritime border. There was no initial information on whether the fishing boat had crossed into Egyptian waters.

Wednesday’s incident took place off the coast after dark near the southern border town of Rafah, said Gaza’s Interior Ministry, which is run by officials loyal to Hamas.

“Egyptian naval vessels fired toward a Palestinian fishing boat near the southern sea border of Gaza Strip which led to the death of Mustafa Abu Odah, 30,” the ministry statement said.

In Cairo, an Egyptian military source denied the report.

Main category: 
Tags: 
Frenchman accused of smuggling guns from Gaza to West Bank ‘tricked’Gaza fisherman killed at sea by Egyptian fire: union Middle-East

Tags


Harvard Business Review

Related Stories

India, Pakistan officials meet to discuss border opening for Sikh pilgrims
  • Thu, 14 Mar 2019 18:36

Author: APID: 1552551288612506800Thu, 2019-03-14 08:12 NEW DELHI: Officials from India and Pakistan met Thursday amid easing tensions to di...

Algeria Army Chief Vows to Secure Country as Protests Continue Unabated
  • Wed, 06 Mar 2019 02:53

Algerian Chief of Staff General Ahmed Gaid Salah pledged on Tuesday to ensure the country’s security amid protests against President Abdulaziz Boute...

French police hit with poo bombs at ‘yellow vest’ protests
  • Mon, 04 Mar 2019 23:59

Author: AFPID: 1551702526670897300Mon, 2019-03-04 12:23 MARSEILLE: French police are facing a new form of weapon during “yellow vest” p...

Israel launches air strike on Hamas location in the Gaza Strip
  • Sun, 03 Mar 2019 15:03

Sat, 2019-03-02 21:07 GAZA STRIP: Israeli military officials said on Saturday that they had struck a Hamas target in southern Gaza Strip, after ball...

SKorea, US end springtime military drills to back diplomacy
  • Sun, 03 Mar 2019 09:49

Author: Associated PressID: 1551575613691534300Sun, 2019-03-03 04:51 SEOUL, South Korea: South Korea and the US are ending their massive sp...

Israeli troops shoot 17 Palestinians during protests
  • Sat, 02 Mar 2019 21:16

Author: Fri, 2019-03-01 23:22 GAZA CITY: Israeli troops on Friday shot and wounded 17 Palestinians during a protest on the Gaza-Israel border, w...

Pakistan brings captured Indian pilot to border
  • Sat, 02 Mar 2019 00:34

Fri, 2019-03-01 14:04 Pakistani officials have brought the Indian pilot captured from a downed plane to a border crossing with India for handover. T...

Palestinians seek prosecution of Israeli leaders for Gaza ‘war crimes’
  • Fri, 01 Mar 2019 16:07

Fri, 2019-03-01 00:31 NEW YORK: Palestinian leaders called on Thursday for Israel to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court after UN inves...

Trump border wall prototypes torn down to make way for new barrier
  • Thu, 28 Feb 2019 12:30

Author: ELLIOT SPAGAT | APID: 1551317540907121800Thu, 2019-02-28 01:19 SAN DIEGO, California: The prototypes for President Donald Trump’s...

Algerian police use tear gas as rare anti-government protests enter third day
  • Mon, 25 Feb 2019 08:14

Author: ReutersID: 1551027751996421800Sun, 2019-02-24 15:57 ALGIERS: Algerian police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators o...

Gaza protesters call on Palestinian leader to quit
  • Mon, 25 Feb 2019 07:29

Author: AFPID: 1551032229046909500Sun, 2019-02-24 15:21 GAZA CITY: Thousands of protesters in the Gaza Strip Sunday called on Palestinian p...

Daesh is down but not out, say fleeing families
  • Sun, 24 Feb 2019 05:40

Author: Sat, 2019-02-23 22:40 OUTSIDE BAGHOUZ, Syria: They were living in holes in the ground, with only dry flatbread to eat at the end. Those ...


الاقسام