Clashes in Gaza, West Bank Despite Restraint by Hamas

Clashes in Gaza, West Bank Despite Restraint by Hamas

Saturday, 17 November, 2018 - 11:00
Palestinian protesters during clashes near Gaza border (File Photo: Reuters)
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat
Clashes renewed on Friday between the Israeli army and Palestinian demonstrators during their ongoing weekly “Return Marches”, as medical sources said 40 were injured.

At least 12 of the injured were shot with live ammunition, and three of them were in critical condition, said the sources.

Violent confrontations broke out in the vicinity of the Israeli military Malaka site, east of Gaza, near Jabaliya.

The demonstrators responded to a call from the “Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege” to continue with the protests despite an announced ceasefire.

The organizing committee had called for a mass turnout on Friday, under the slogan “normalization with Israel is a crime and treason.”

The National Authority stressed in a statement that the marches will continue peacefully and will only stop once they have achieved their desired goals.

The Authority urged Palestinians for a high turnout in next week’s rally, which will bear the slogan of "Resistance unites us, and prevails.”

On Tuesday, an Egypt-sponsored ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian factions entered into affect after a flare-up with Israel that put the Strip on the brink of war.

The violent escalation in the enclave was the worst since a 2014 war, as sirens wailed in southern Israel and tens of thousands of residents had taken cover in shelters after around 460 rockets and mortar rounds were fired from the enclave.

Hamas decided to go on with the marches but for a limited time and banned any attacks on Israel, including with incendiary kites.

The movement tightened its control on Friday's rallies, preventing any marches towards the border in response to Egyptian requests to maintain calm in Gaza after the ceasefire was established.

Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar threatened Israel by saying if “we are attacked, we will let the barrage on Tel Aviv do the talking.”

He asserted that the marches will continue as deemed by the leadership.

Clashes erupted in Gaza as well as the West Bank where a Palestinian was shot and dozens others suffered from gas inhalation in Ras Karkar village west of Ramallah.

Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas at demonstrators, injuring a Palestinian civilian who was taken to the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment.

Two young men were also wounded by rubber bullets in the weekly protest of Kafr Kadum, which demanded opening the village road that has been blocked for more than 15 years.

Hamas spokesman in Gaza Hazem Qassem said that demonstrators are joining the protests to reiterate that the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has to end through peaceful marches.

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