Last Update 13:21
Friday, 13 December 2019

Israeli troops kill Palestinian at Gaza border protest, ceasefire efforts continue

Reuters , Saturday 4 Aug 2018
Palestinian relatives mourn over the death of Muadh al-Suri, aged 15, who was killed in clashes with Israeli forces the day before, during his funeral in Nuseirat camp, in central Gaza Strip, on August 4, 2018. (AFP photo)
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Israeli occupation troops shot dead a Palestinian and wounded at least 220 others at protests along the Gaza border on Friday, Gaza health officials said, as diplomats sought to secure a durable ceasefire deal.

Over four months of weekly Friday border protests that began on March 30 have reduced in intensity lately but organisers have vowed they would continue until Israel lifts economic sanctions on Gaza strip.

Israel besieged Gaza since 2007, waging three wars 2008, 2012 and 2014 against the Palestinians, leaving more than 3000 killed, thousands injured and infrastructure in shambles.

The Israeli occupation military said some 8,000 Gazans had participated in the protests at five locations along the border.

A Gaza hospital official said of the 220 hurt, 90 suffered wounds as a result of the live fire. The dead was a 25-year-old man.

At least 156 Palestinians have been killed in the protests and one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a sniper in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a trip to Colombia next week, his office said, and is due to consult with top ministers on Sunday on proposals to end the tensions, Israeli media has reported.

Some top ranking Hamas officials arrived in Gaza from Egypt late on Thursday to discuss the possible deal but no details have been given. The delegation included the group's deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, exiled by Israel in 2010.

"The delegation will (consult) ... over issues of concern for the Palestinian people, foremost in achieving the national reconciliation and ending the Gaza blockade," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said before the delegation arrived.

More than two million Palestinians are packed into the narrow strip which suffers deep economic hardship.

On Sunday, Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said on Twitter that he held "productive meetings" with Egyptian officials in efforts to de-escalate Gaza tensions and resolve humanitarian issues.

"The devil is always in the details but we are #movingforward in the interest of #peace," Mladenov said.

Israeli media said Israel was seeking a long-term commitment from Hamas to end the protests, in exchange for lifting restrictions on the passage of goods and travel for Gaza.

Speaking about the Hamas delegation's visit, Hamas political official Hussam Badran said: "We will achieve a national unity of the highest level in order to break (Israel's) blockade... We want the blockade to end once and for all."

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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