Saturday, September 1, 2018

Gaza protests

Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 166 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.
For five months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have protested along the fence with Israel demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 years ago.
The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe - a reference to the forced removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages to clear the way for Israel's establishment in 1948.
The mass Friday demonstrations have since continued.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 166 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 18,000 people, according to health officials in Gaza.

Latest updates: Friday, August 31

More than 200 wounded across the Gaza Strip
At least 240 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in Friday's protest, according to Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the ministry of health in Gaza.
Two cases - a female medic and a 10-year-old child - were in serious condition.
Qidra also said that an ambulance belonging to the Red Crescent was targeted by Israeli forces north of the Strip, resulting in broken windows and injuring one medic.
Mueen al-Masry, who was hit in the chest with a tear gas canister inside the vehicle, was taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Friday, August 24

50 Palestinians wounded by live bullets
Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas at protesters near the fence with Israel, wounding at least 189 Palestinians, according to health officials in Gaza.
Of those injured, 50 were hit by live bullets, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
"We've seen a lot of tear gas fired ... [and] what sounds like live ammunition as well," said Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from the protests.
Approximately, 5,000 people attended Friday's demonstration, the 22nd Friday of rallies.
"There are fewer people here this week that we've seen in recent weeks," said Stratford.
"Some ... think that one of the reasons why the protests are being [attended by fewer people] this week is because we are expecting the resumptions of the talks being mediated by the Egyptians in Cairo, between Hamas and Israel.
"Israel denies that there is any direct conversation going ... but we do know the Egyptians are being very keen and are working very hard to get both parties to agree to some sort of lasting ceasefire," he added.
A Palestinian woman runs as tear gas was fired by Israeli troops during a protest on Friday, August 24 [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

Friday, August 17

Palestinian killed in Rafah
Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for Gaza's ministry of health, said a second Palestinian had been shot dead by Israeli forces on Friday.
Sa'di Akram Muammar, 26, was killed east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
The number of wounded protesters has risen to 270.
One killed, scores wounded
One Palestinian has been killed by Israeli forces, according to health officials in Gaza.
Karim Abu Fatayer, 30, died after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.
Health officials said 154 other protesters were wounded, including four medics who suffocated from tear gas.
Abu Fatayer's death brings the number of Palestinian protesters killed since March 30 to 165.
Israeli forces fire tear gas towards Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]
'Quiet build-up' to this week's protest
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, at least 10 Palestinians have been injured near the Israeli fence.
Speaking from Gaza, Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford said that the protests have been quiet so far.
"So far today we've seen far less of the incendiary balloons and kites that Israel says have caused so much damage across the border," he said.
"It has been quiet in the build up to this week’s protest, and we saw that Israel has allowed the opening of Gaza’s only commercial crossing Karem Abu Salem earlier this week, and expand the restricted area which the fishermen can operate," he continued.
"It's vital if this calm is going to be maintained between Israel and Hamas that neither side commits what either side perceive as being a provocation."
There has also been reports of an Egypt-UN mediated agreement between Hamas and Israel being reached has been circulating in Israeli media, which includes an extended ceasefire.
"There’s also been talk of potentially the rebuilding of some of Gaza’s infrastructure using foreign funding, and a lot of emphasis on a prisoner exchange as well," Stratford said.
"But Hamas has not confirmed these reports, and there hasn’t been an official statement regarding these talks from the Israeli side."

Saturday, August 11

Gaza flotilla to protest against Israeli blockade
Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip are set to stage a protest against Israel's nearly 12-year-long land, air and sea blockade of the enclave.
WATCH: Gaza fishermen stage protest over Israeli blockade

Protest organisers told Al Jazeera that around 40 to 50 boats are expected to leave the Gaza port on Saturday and sail north towards Israel.
"The protesting fishermen are highlighting their suffering and the restrictions they are under because of the Israeli blockade," said Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from the Gaza port. "Fifty-thousand families are in some way dependent on the fishing industry here."
Last month, Israel's defence minister restricted Gaza's fishing boundaries from six to three nautical miles off the coast.
The Israeli navy intercept ships attempting to breach the naval blockade, and often fires on fishermen who cross into restricted areas.
Also enforced by Egypt, the blockade has been in place since Hamas began administering the Strip in 2007.
Two Israeli drone strikes, two injured
Israeli drone strikes in Gaza targeting Palestinian protesters trying to launch incendiary balloons and kites across fence with Israel have wounded at least two people, sources have told Al Jazeera.
"In the last hour or so, there was one [strike] in Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza - no casualties reported there," Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from Gaza, said on Saturday afternoon
"The second strike in the east of the central region injured at least two people," he added. 
UN delegation to meet Hamas officials
A UN delegation representing the special coordinator for the peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, has arrived in Gaza for meetings with Hamas officials.
The visit is part of an ongoing effort to lower tensions between Hamas and Israel. The talks are expected to focus on the details of a ceasefire proposal.
Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from Gaza, said that no lines have come out of the meetings so far.
"These meetings with Hamas are pretty much always behind closed doors, but what they do suggest is this incredible urgency that is needed in order to try and establish some sort of lasting truce between Hamas and Israel after the escalations in recent weeks," he said.
Thousands pay respects for three Palestinians killed
Thousands of Palestinians on Saturday attended funerals for three Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire a day earlier.
Mourners laid volunteer paramedic Abdullah al-Qutiti, 22, to rest in the southern city of Rafah. Saeed Aloul, 55, and Ahmed Abu Louli, 40, were also buried in Rafah amid angry chants against Israel by mourners.
WATCH: Israeli forces kill two Palestinians, including medic

Palestinian dies after being shot at protest
A 40-year-old Palestinian hit by Israeli fire during protests on the Gaza border died of his wounds on Saturday, taking the previous day's death toll to three, the territory's health ministry said.
He was among at least 131 Palestinians wounded by Israeli bullets during Friday's protests, even as an informal truce agreed after a deadly flare-up between Gaza's rulers Hamas and the Israeli army largely held.
The health ministry identified the dead man as Ahmed Abu Louli and said he was shot in a section of the border east of the southern city of Rafah, where two other Palestinians were also killed.

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