Gaza protesters clash with Israeli troops near the border

AP
Gaza City (Gaza Strip) Published: Aug 29, 2021, 10:13 AM(IST)

Palestinian protesters burns tyres following a demonstration along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Gaza City on Saturday. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Hundreds of Hamas-backed activists launched what they said was the first in a series of nighttime protests along the Israeli border, throwing explosives towards Israeli forces, who responded with live fire. Organisers said the gatherings, which are to continue throughout the week, were meant to step up pressure on Israel to ease a crippling economic blockade on the Gaza Strip

Hundreds of Hamas-backed activists launched what they said was the first in a series of nighttime protests along the Israeli border, throwing explosives towards Israeli forces, who responded with live fire.

Organisers said the gatherings, which are to continue throughout the week, were meant to step up pressure on Israel to ease a crippling economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.

"The occupation will not enjoy calm unless the siege on our beloved land is lifted," said Abu Omar, a spokesman for the protesters.

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Israel and Egypt have maintained the blockade since Hamas, a group sworn to Israel's destruction, seized control of Gaza in 2007, a year after it won Palestinian elections.

The blockade, which restricts the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza, has ravaged the territory's economy. Israel has tightened the closure since an 11-day war in May, demanding the return of the remains of two dead soldiers and freedom for two Israeli civilians believed to be in Hamas captivity.

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Amateur footage and photos from inside Gaza showed hundreds of Palestinians protesters engaged in Saturday's gathering. Some appeared to be throwing explosives and chanting in celebrations as blasts sounded.

The Israeli military said troops responded to the explosives by firing live rounds towards the protesters. It said there were no injuries on the Israeli side. Gaza health officials said three protesters were wounded by Israeli fire.

Earlier on Saturday, Gaza health officials said a 12-year-old Palestinian boy died from head wounds after being shot during a similar demonstration a week earlier.

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