The clashes this Friday along the border do not seem to question for the moment the fragile truce between Hamas and Israel.
Two Palestinians including a first aid worker were killed on Friday by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip during protests and clashes along the border. These protests were seen as a test of the intentions of Hamas, the undisputed leader of the Gaza Strip, and its Palestinian allies after Thursday.
About 2,000 Palestinians demonstrated and burned tires east of Gaza City. With other gatherings elsewhere along the border, a few thousand people in total have moved away from previous mobilizations that have brought tens of thousands of Gazans together.
Clashes with Israeli soldiers posted on the hermetic security fence also remained limited. But a 21-year-old rescuer, Abdallah al-Qatati, died after being shot in the chest east of Rafah (southern Gaza Strip), under unspecified circumstances. Abdallah al-Qatati is at least the second rescuer killed by Israeli bullets since March 30.
166 Gazans killed since March 30
The second Palestinian killed on Friday, Ali Al Aloul, 55, was killed in the same area. In addition, 307 Palestinians were injured, including two journalists and five rescuers, said the local health ministry. At least 131 of them were shot and wounded.
The borders of the border have been the scene of mobilization since the end of March against the blockade imposed for over ten years by Israel on the Gaza Strip and for the right of return of Palestinians who have been expelled or fled their land to the Gaza Strip. creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Since then, tensions in and around Gaza have steadily increased, raising fears of a fourth war between Israel and Hamas since 2008. At least 166 Gazans have been killed by Israeli gunfire since 30 March. An Israeli soldier was killed on July 20 for the first time since 2014.
The European Union worries
The Palestinian enclave wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, where two million people are struggling with the blockade, poverty and shortages between Wednesday and Thursday night has one of its most serious confrontations since the war of 2014.
More than 180 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israel, injuring several people and hurling Israelis into shelters. Israeli warplanes responded by striking more than 150 Hamas military sites in Gaza. Three Palestinians, including a 23-year-old pregnant woman and her 18-month-old daughter, were killed in these Israeli raids.
Israel and Hamas on Thursday night agreed to a cease-fire in indirect talks through the Egyptian neighbor and the United Nations, a source close to the talks said. No official confirmation has been obtained from Israel or Hamas. But the night and the morning were calm. The state of alert remains high, however, and the UN and Egypt are quietly working towards a lasting ceasefire. Gaza and Israel are “dangerously close” to a new conflict, the European Union warned on Friday.