One Palestinian killed, dozens injured in Gaza protests against inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem — Peace and Freedom

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Israeli gunfire killed at least one Palestinian and injured wounded at least 28 other along the Gaza border on Monday, medics said, and protesters streamed to the frontier for the climax of a six-week demonstration as the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem. Larger crowds were expected to gather later in the […]

Israeli gunfire killed at least one Palestinian and injured wounded at least 28 other along the Gaza border on Monday, medics said, and protesters streamed to the frontier for the climax of a six-week demonstration as the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem.

Larger crowds were expected to gather later in the day to protest the move of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

The embassy inauguration was due to occur at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT).

Smoke rises as Palestinians protest near the border fence on the Gaza side of the Israel-Gaza border, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, May 14, 2018 (Reuters Photo)

Smoke rises as Palestinians protest near the border fence on the Gaza side of the Israel-Gaza border, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, May 14, 2018 (Reuters Photo)

Fifty-four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests and clashes began along the Gaza border on March 30.

The protests are calling for Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation to be allowed to return to their homes now inside Israel.

No Israelis have been wounded and the military has faced criticism over the use of live fire.

Israel says it only opens fire when necessary to stop infiltrations, attacks and damage to the border fence while accusing Hamas of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence

Bilal Fasayfes, 31, was getting on a free bus to the border with his wife and two children in the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis.

“If half the people die we won’t care,” he said.

“We will keep going so the other half can live with dignity.”

Also in Khan Yunis, groups of masked young men, some carrying wooden bats, walked between shops forcing them to close to respect a general strike.

Muataz al-Najjar, 18, who was wounded four times in the last seven weeks, once from a bullet and the others from gas canisters, said he hoped to break through the fence.

“We will return and the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv will be prevented.”

At Shifa Hospital, where doctors say they are running low on crucial supplies and being forced to discharge patients early to make space for the next wave, a large tent was established outside in front of the emergency room.

At mosques in the cities, large speakers were set up that are expected to broadcast messages encouraging people to go to the border.

Faris Abu Hajaras, 50, said his family was from Jaffa, now within Israel, but he had never been there. He is a builder but said Israel’s blockade of the strip meant there was no work.

“We will stay peaceful with our hands like this,” he said, lifting them to the sky. “But death comes from God. Maybe you and I are walking together and you get shot in the head and I will be fine.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/mideast/2018/05/14/one-palestinian-killed-dozens-injured-in-gaza-protests-against-inauguration-of-us-embassy

via One Palestinian killed, dozens injured in Gaza protests against inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem — Peace and Freedom

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Pompeo says Israel, Palestinian peace still a US priority — INKLING LEAGUE

Middle East, News

AMMAN, Jordan – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a priority for the Trump administration even if it doesn’t agree it’s the main cause of Mideast instability. Pompeo spoke in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Monday, urging the Palestinians to return to peace talks with Israel, […]

AMMAN, Jordan – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a priority for the Trump administration even if it doesn’t agree it’s the main cause of Mideast instability.
Pompeo spoke in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Monday, urging the Palestinians to return to peace talks with Israel, saying the U.S. is open to a two-state solution, which he termed a “likely outcome.”
He declined to criticize Israel for its actions in dealing with mass Palestinian protests along the Gaza border over the past month. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli fire. Pompeo said the U.S. was “fully supportive” of Israel’s right to defend itself.

Pompeo did not meet any Palestinian representatives during a two-day visit to Israel and Jordan.

via Pompeo says Israel, Palestinian peace still a US priority — INKLING LEAGUE

Israeli forces fire bullets, tear gas at border protesters, wound 200

international News, Islam, Middle East, Military, News, Politics

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers fired bullets and tear gas at thousands of Palestinian protesters at the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, wounding nearly 200 people, hours after the United Nations human rights chief criticised Israel for using “excessive force”.

Israeli troops have killed 38 Palestinians and wounded more than 5,000 others since Gaza residents began staging protests along the border fence on March 30 to demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

On Friday, Israeli ground troops, holed up behind fortifications on their side of the 40km (25-mile) border fence, fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters at five locations on the Gazan side.

The Gaza health ministry said 60 were wounded by gun fire, including a Palestinian journalist who was hit with a bullet in his foot.

Dozens more, including four medics, were treated for gas inhalation, as Israeli forces showered the area with tear gas canisters from behind their fortifications.

Protesters hurled stones and rolled burning tyres towards the fence, and some attached cans of burning petrol to kites and flew them into Israeli territory.

 gaza

Others cleared away barbed wire coils which Israeli troops had placed in Gazan territory overnight in a bid to create a buffer zone between protesters and the fence.

The protests come at a time of growing frustration for Palestinians as prospects for an independent Palestinian state look poor. Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for several years and Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have expanded.

In a statement released earlier on Friday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the loss of life was “deplorable” and that a “staggering number of injuries” had been caused by live ammunition.

Israel’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment but the government has consistently said that it is protecting its borders and that its troops are following rules of engagement.

 gaza1

Named the ‘Great March of Return’, the protest action revives a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages which their families fled from, or were driven out of, when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the narrow coastal enclave. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land and sea borders. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

Writing by Ori Lewis, Editing by Stephen Farrell and Raissa Kasolowsky

Thousands of Palestinians protest at Gaza-Israel border, one dead

international News, Politics, Power, Terrorism, War
 Thousands of Palestinians protest at Gaza-Israel border, one dead
GAZA BORDER (Reuters) – A Palestinian was killed and more than 200 others wounded during clashes with Israeli troops as thousands gathered in protest along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, Gaza officials said.Palestinians hurled stones and burning tyres near the frontier fence, where Israeli army sharpshooters are deployed. Some in the crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device and tried cross into Israel, according to the Israeli military.

Palestinian medical officials said Israeli troops opened fire on the demonstrators, killing one and wounding 220.

An Israeli military spokesman said troops were being confronted by rioters and responded “with riot dispersal means while also firing in accordance with the rules of engagement”.

Palestinians had arrived en masse at tented camps near the frontier as a protest dubbed “The Great March of Return” – evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel – moved into its third week.

Israeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing international criticism of the lethal tactics used against them.

On Friday, groups of youths waved Palestinian flags and burnt hundreds of tyres and Israeli flags near the fenced-off border after Friday prayers. At one camp east of Gaza City, youths carried on their shoulders a coffin wrapped in an Israeli flag bearing the words “The End of Israel”.

Israel has declared a no-go zone close to the Gaza border fence.

No Israelis have been killed during the demonstrations, and human rights groups say the Israeli military has used live fire against demonstrators who pose no immediate threat to life.

Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the protesters getting across the fence.

The planned six-week protest has revived a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages from which their families fled, or were driven out, when the state of Israel was created 70 years ago.

The protest began on March 30, and is expected to culminate on May 15.

“CATASTROPHE” OF 1948

That is the day Palestinians will mark the 70th anniversary of the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced amid violence culminating in war between newly created Israel and its Arab neighbours in May 1948.

Successive Israeli governments have ruled out any right of return, fearing the country would lose its Jewish majority.

“Some people believe we are idiots to think the Israelis will allow us in, they may not, but we will not stop trying to return,” said a protester, 37-year-old civil servant Ahmed, as he stood on a hilltop overlooking the Israeli fence.

Like most of the 2 million Palestinians packed into the tiny, impoverished Gaza Strip, Ahmed is a descendant of refugees from Jaffa, a coastal town in Israel just south of Tel Aviv.

“No peace, no jobs, no unity and no future, so what difference would death make? If we are going to die, then let it not be in vain,” said Ahmed, who refused to give his full name, fearing Israeli reprisals.

The Israeli government accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that has ruled Gaza largely since Israeli soldiers and settlers withdrew in 2005, of having instigated the protests and of using them as cover to launch attacks.

“Israel will continue to defend its borders and its citizens. Your country would do the same,” an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter.

The Israeli military has displayed video footage in which the frontier fence is seen being cut and breached during the recent clashes, with, Israel says, explosives planted there to target its troops.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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