Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Israel fires into Gaza after Palestinian attack

Yonatan Shapira Yonatan Shapira
| 07 August, 2018, 17:19

Palestinians in Gaza marched during the 19th Friday protests under the slogan of "Martyr of Jerusalem, Muhammad Youssef", in remembrance of the killed 17-year-old Palestinian youth.

It will be the full first meeting of the movement's political bureau since talks held in Cairo in 2017, officials said.

On Saturday, the Israeli army said an aircraft had fired at "a terrorist squad" launching "arson balloons" at Israel.

The protests on Friday occurred a day after a senior Hamas delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip from Egypt to discuss a possible cease-fire with Israel and resume internal reconciliation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party.

On Thursday, the administration of Rafah Border Crossing said a delegation - including leading group members of Hamas such as Saleh al-Arouri, Mousa Abu Marzouk, Izzat al-Rishq and Hussam Badran - have returned to Gaza.

Israeli forces also opened live fire at Palestinians gathered at the return camps of eastern Khuzaa in eastern Khan Younis of the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinians have also flown balloons and kites carrying incendiary devices across the border, starting hundreds of fires inside Israel.


The Israeli military said that about 8,000 Palestinians took part in Friday's rally.

His return to Gaza has been interpreted in Israeli and Palestinian media as "relevant to negotiations through third parties for a long-term agreement between Hamas and Israel".

It said a tank fired at a Hamas military post in Gaza after Palestinians briefly crossed the frontier and threw bombs.

Hamas has already hinted that it has not objected to the details of the agreement, but called for amendments, especially concerning a waterway linking the Gaza Strip with Egypt or Cyprus.

The Israeli military said Saturday that it had intercepted an activist boat trying to breach a decade-old blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The 12 activists on-board the "Freedom for Gaza" boat were attempting to bring urgently needed medical supplies to Gaza, when the vessel was intercepted by the Israeli navy in worldwide waters. Critics say it amounts to collective punishment of Gaza's 2 million people.

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