Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Israel closes Gaza goods crossing after Friday protests

Israel closes Gaza goods crossing after Friday protests

"We are used to wars and no one with us but Allah".

In an Instagram post with a picture of herself touching the Western Wall during her visit last May, she wrote, "With great joy, I am returning to Jerusalem". Many carried signs reading "Palestinian belongs to the Palestinians" and "Al-Quds belongs to Muslims".

This year's commemoration also coincides with US President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the US embassy, which is due to be inaugurated on Monday. Israel, simultaneously, celebrates this its day of Independence and this year will be marking its 70th anniversary. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza.

Friday's death brought to 41 the number of protesters killed since March 30.

It was the seventh weekly protest, and a preview of what is expected to be a much larger border rally on Monday and Tuesday. Defending its conduct, Israel says it only opens fire "below the knee" when necessary to stop infiltrators, attacks and damage to the border fence, while accusing Hamas of hijacking the protests as a cover to enact violence.

Israel has said it will prevent any border breach and has stuck to its open-fire policies, including targeting "main instigators" and those approaching the fence, despite growing worldwide criticism. Israel and Egypt maintain a security blockade of Gaza.

Earlier this week, Hamas's leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar said he hoped that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians would breach the border fence from Gaza into Israel during next week's protests.

Deifallah, who is unemployed, said he is not afraid to die. Some of the protesters, mainly youths, brandished wire cutters, a popular tool in weekly attempts to cut through the border fence.

A Palestinian protester was killed and 49 were wounded by Israeli army fire during demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border, the Gaza Health Ministry has said. Although they did not manage to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, with one attack killing five soldiers, and terrified the local population.

Hamas acknowledged that five of its terrorists were among the fatalities after the first Friday demonstration, but has since refrained for acknowledging whether its men are among the dead.

"We are used to confronting the (Israeli) occupation with our bare chests", he said.

Israel has been slammed for its use of live fire with the UN, EU and the Israeli opposition accusing the military of employing disproportionate force against those who do not pose a threat. Israel says the barrier, as well as new technological innovations, have rendered the Hamas tunnel project futile. "Hamas continues to lead the residents of Gaza to destroy the only assistance they receive", the army said.

Dozens of Palestinian demonstrators on Friday broke into the Gaza side of the terminal - the main conduit for goods in and out of the territory - setting a pipeline that delivers gas from Israel alight, torching a goods conveyor belt and damaging a fuel pipe.

"It is time for the global community, big powers, the European Union, to do something to stop the carnage that Israel is inflicting upon innocent Palestinians".

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