Hamas Scaled Back Gaza Protests Due to Egyptian Pressure
Hamas Scaled Back Gaza Protests Due to Egyptian Pressure
PE protesters join rage against Israel
18 May, 2018, 15:36
After the bloodiest day for Palestinians in years on Monday, when 60 were killed by Israeli gunfire during mass demonstrations that Israelsaid included attempts to breach its frontier fence, calm and a heatwave descended on the area.
Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site in the contested city in a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew worldwide condemnation.
On Wednesday, Israeli officials seized upon remarks by a senior Hamas member who said 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed this week were members of the group, arguing it showed the protests were not peaceful.
The IDF attacked a Hamas post near the Gaza border on Wednesday, in response to Hamas operatives firing on IDF forces.
Organisers say the Gaza protests are civilian actions, noting the absence of Israeli casualties, compared to 107 Palestinian dead and thousands of wounded.
Palestinians and rights groups say protesters are being shot despite posing no threat to Israeli soldiers on the other side of the heavily guarded fence.
In addition to the death toll of 61, more than 2,500 Palestinians suffered physically after instigating the violent clash.
"Hamas is exclusively responsible for the events transpiring in and out of Gaza, and is accountable for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty", the IDF said.
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On Wednesday the Palestinian Foreign Ministry announced the recall of its envoys in Romania, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic because those countries participated in the reception for the USA delegation that inaugurated the embassy.
But the start on Thursday of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, could limit the scale of demonstrations.
"Behind the protests is Hamas, which governs Gaza and is regarded as a terrorist group by the U.S., Israel and the European Union".
Israel has accused Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the border protests as cover to carry out violence.
Netanyahu said it was fitting, noting that Guatemala also followed the U.S.to be the second country to recognize Israel 70 years ago.
Images of the protesters being whisked away in stretchers amid the tear gas contrasted sharply Monday with jubilant scenes of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem by a high-powered American delegation and Israeli leaders.
Speaking at a reception with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, Netanyahu said Israel had recorded "similar numbers" to those mentioned by Bardawil.
These clashes occurred mainly in the Gaza Strip and coincided with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem - a highly controversial move as the status of the city remains a subject of major dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.
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