Palestinians in Gaza Are Protesting Near the Border With Israel Again

Hugh Fox
May 12, 2018

The Israeli military said Saturday it was shutting down its main cargo crossing into Gaza after Palestinian protesters caused extensive damage to it, and that it had also destroyed an attack tunnel militants dug near its main pedestrian crossing. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas volleys from the other side of the border fence.

Earlier this week, Hamas's leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar said he hoped that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians would breach the border fence from Gaza into Israel during next week's protests.

Israel has said it will prevent any border breach and has stuck to its open-fire policies, including targeting "main instigators" and those approaching the fence, despite growing global criticism. It has stuck to its open-fire policies, such as targeting "main instigators" and those approaching the fence, despite growing worldwide criticism. Israel says it has acted to defend its border and has accused the protests of being directed by Hamas.

Since the Hamas-led marches began in late March, 41 Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli fire, including a 40-year-old man shot dead Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

There are growing concerns that if Israel and Hamas dig in, a widespread border breach could lead to large numbers of casualties.

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Protesters clashed with Israeli troops Friday at several locations on the border between Gaza and Israel.

Monday's inauguration of the U.S. Embassy comes five months after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that outraged Palestinians as blatantly pro-Israel.

The coming week could see a further uptick in violence, as Palestinians are planning much larger protests to coincide with the United States relocating its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Monday and the 70th anniversary of their "nakba", or catastrophe - referring to their mass uprooting during the Mideast war over Israel's 1948 creation - on Tuesday.

Once again, thousands of Palestinians protested Friday in various locations along the frontier. Israel's position has generally been that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.

From there, smaller groups moved closer to the border fence.

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The footage shows tires being burned, reportedly to throw up thick, black smoke to obscure the views of snipers.

Israel has been slammed for its use of live fire with the UN, EU and the Israeli opposition accusing the military of employing disproportionate force against those who do not pose a threat.

Witnesses said Israeli forces on the other side of the fence had added reinforcements, including cement slabs, as protective cover.

In recent weeks, the IDF has been using drones to shoot down flaming kites outfitted with burning fuel and Molotov cocktails thrown by Gazans over the border towards the security fence.

In an Instagram post with a picture of herself touching the Western Wall during her visit last May, she wrote, "With great joy, I am returning to Jerusalem".

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