Gaza border erupts: 13,000 rioters, 3 deaths reported; Israel strikes Hamas positions

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 16, 2018

"This Friday was his destiny to die as a martyr", said the boy's father, Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Al.

Israel's tactics against the protests have drawn worldwide condemnation.

"The Hamas terrorist group is responsible for everything that happens in and from the Gaza Strip", an IDF spokesperson said.

At least another 12 people were injured, the ministry added, as Palestinians again demonstrated in different spots along the border.

'He used to go every Friday to the marches like thousands of other people, ' he said.

Hamas has led protests since March partially over an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the territory.

The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 178 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began March 30.

Two Palestinians, including a 14-year-old, were shot dead by Israeli fire in new clashes along the Gaza border on Friday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.

Another Palestinian, 28-year-old Hashem Hassan, said he saw Abdel-Al being shot 70 metres from the fence: "He threw a few stones, which flew just a few yards".

Some hurled rocks, fire-bombs and grenades at troops under cover of smoke from burning tyres, injuring a soldier, and nine Palestinians briefly crossed into Israel, the military said.

The clashes at the border, which Israel says are being orchestrated by Gaza's Hamas rulers, have included regular rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as shooting and IED attacks aimed at IDF soldiers and attempts to breach the border fence.

Asked about Abdel-Al's death, an Israeli military spokeswoman said only that troops had kept to their open-fire regulations. An Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinian sniper fire.

But Washington has backed its ally in accusing Hamas of staging the mass-mobilisation to distract from Gaza's poverty and governance problems and to provide cover for armed Palestinian border incursions. Hamas has denied this. Early on Friday, several Palestinians crawled to the fence to throw a pipebomb at troops, who fired back, the military said.

The protest campaign calls for an end to the 11-year Israeli blockade on Gaza and for Palestinian refugees' right of return to the lands that their families fled during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. United Nations and Egyptian mediators have been trying to reach a deal to calm Gaza, where Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the last decade. The brokering efforts have been complicated by Hamas's feuding with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has restricted funding to Gaza.

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