Israeli army to step up response to Gaza demonstrations

Cheryl Sanders
October 21, 2018

Euro-Med also called on "all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza's largely civilian population".

After a rocket attack in Southern Israel earlier this week, the IDF deployed multiple tank units near the Gaza border in a show of force.

The airstrikes left at least one Palestinian dead, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

"The Israeli enemy's threats have effectively motivated the crowds to participate powerfully in the protest", said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, which has staged the protests since March.

Egyptian intelligence official Ahmed Abdel Khalek, ‎who heads the delegation, was able to convince the ‎Gazan groups to halt their fire, the report said.‎.

Hamas has been leading weekly protests near the Israeli border for over six months in an attempt to ease the blockade.

Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Movement MP, Mustafa Barghouti, warned of serious intentions to launch a devastating aggression on the Gaza Strip, by Israeli forces.

The remarks came after the Israeli army said that a rocket fired from Gaza had hit the city of Beersheba in the Negev Desert and a second had landed in the sea.

The large attendance was a test to Egypt's efforts to push Hamas into scaling down the protests and rein in marchers who venture out to the fence and breach it, triggering deadly Israeli fire.

A Ma'an reporter said that Palestinian crowds gathered alongside the eastern borders of districts of the Gaza Strip for the 30th Friday of "The Great March of Return" protests.

Euro-Med stressed "Israel's response to protests violates the principles of worldwide human rights law; that is, despite the fact that protests have largely been peaceful, Israeli soldiers killed 205 people, including five women and 38 children, while also injuring 22,527 others, 18% of whom are children".

More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the coastal enclave.

More than 190 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in the renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry. Nickolay Mladenov, the UN's Mideast peace envoy, earlier urged Israel and the Palestinians to exercise restraint ahead of the protests.

Israel's Housing Minister and former Commander of the Israeli army's Southern Command, Yoav Gallant, was quoted in Israeli media stating that "the rules of the game are about to change", hinting that Israel will be stepping up its response against armed groups in the Gaza strip and raising fears of full-scale military action.

Other reports by iNewsToday