Six Palestinians killed in clashes on Israel border

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2018

The Israeli army claimed five were shot dead after breaking through the border fence and attacking an army post.

The deaths occurred during Friday protests, which often turn violent, along the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter an "organized attack" had involved around 20 Palestinians crossing the border after an explosive device destroyed a portion of the fence.

Tankers of diesel fuel, funded by Qatar, had entered Gaza over the last few days, as part of an attempt to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza, which has only a few hours of electricity a day.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian health ministry said six Palestinian men were killed as thousands of protesters approached the heavily-guarded Israeli border.

In a rare interview recently, Hamas's Gaza head Yahya Sinwar encouraged world powers to work with it to ease suffering in the strip. On Friday, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians during their peaceful weekly protests in the besieged territory.

Four Palestinians were killed along the border east of Al-Bureij in the centre of Gaza, while one died east of Gaza City and one near Rafah in southern Gaza, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

The protesters are demanding to be allowed to return to lands now inside Israel, from which their families fled or were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the Jewish state.

They are also calling for Israel to end its crippling blockade Gaza.

The Israeli army said approximately 14,000 people had gathered at various sites along the border.

In recent weeks, protests have begun occurring on other days as well, ratcheting up the tension between Israel and militant factions in Gaza, led by Hamas.

The talks have stalled, partly due to pressure form Abbas, but on Tuesday a smaller UN-brokered agreement was reached for Qatar to finance fuel deliveries to Gaza for six months.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya also attended the protests east of Gaza City and hailed the ongoing demonstrations.

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