السبت , مايو 15 2021

West Bank Gaza protests turn deadly



Ambulance in crowd near Qalandia checkpoint

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Dozens of Palestinian protesters were injured when they reached the Qalandia checkpoint

At least two Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank during protests against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, officials say.

At least 10,000 protesters marched from Ramallah towards East Jerusalem, where they were met by Israeli forces.

Around 200 protesters were wounded.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza’s fighting has continued to rise, with over 800 Palestinians and 33 Israelis killed since 8 July.

The Israeli military confirmed that troops had used “riot dispersal means” after West Bank protesters threw rocks and blocked a road with burning tyres.

Israel launched its military offensive against Gaza on 8 July with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets into Israel.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he regretted each Palestinian civilian death, but said they were “the responsibility of Hamas”.

‘Day of anger’

The West Bank protest was called for by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement.

Palestinian women cry while gathering outside the emergency room waiting for information about their injured relatives, at Ramallah Hospital, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, late Thursday, July 24Relatives of injured protesters waited for news of their condition outside Ramallah hospital

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank have called for a day of anger on Friday, one of the last days of Ramadan.

Protests were also reported in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, after Israeli police prevented males under the age of 50 from visiting the al-Aqsa mosque.

At least 20 protesters were arrested after they threw rocks at police, Israeli police said.

Israeli media has described the West Bank protest as the largest since the 2000-2005 Palestinian protest movement, also known as the Second Intifada.

Pools of blood

At least 13 people were killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter came under fire in Gaza on Thursday.

Palestinian families were in the school in Beit Hanoun, fleeing Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants.



At least 13 people have been killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter in Gaza was shelled

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The BBC’s Ian Pannell: “The tears and terror of Gaza’s children”



Emily Maitlis interviews Mark Regev

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Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev: “It’s not clear it’s our fire”

It is the fourth time in as many days that a UN facility has been hit.

Correspondents say pools of blood lay on the ground in the courtyard of the school in Beit Hanoun, and there was a large scorch mark where it appeared a shell had hit.

Map of Gaza

UN officials said that during the course of the day they had been trying to negotiate a window of time with the Israeli army for civilians to leave the area because of the heavy fighting.

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (Unrwa), also said the Israeli army had been formally given the co-ordinates of the shelter in Beit Hanoun.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that it was in the midst of combat “with Hamas terrorists in the area of Beit Hanoun, who are using civilian infrastructure and international symbols as human shields”.

“In the course of the afternoon, several rockets launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip landed in the Beit Hanoun area. The IDF is reviewing the incident,” it said.

UN ‘appalled’

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told the BBC he wants a ceasefire and end to Israel’s blockade as soon as possible.

“We don’t want to be controlled by a border crossing that makes Gaza the biggest prison in the world,” Mr Meshaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, told BBC Hardtalk.

“People cannot go for medical treatment or to work. Why are the people of Gaza being punished by a slow death in the world biggest prison? This is a crime.”



Khaled Meshaal

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Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal: “There should be a genuine guarantee to lift the siege in Gaza”

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he was “appalled” by the attack on the school in northern Gaza and said it underscored “the imperative for the killing to stop – and to stop now”.

According to the UN, more than 118,000 people are now sheltering in UN schools and people are running out of food.

A piece of cloth lies in a pool of blood outside a UN-operated school after an Israeli attack in Beit Hanoun in  northern Gaza - 24 July 2014The school was hit during a day of heavy fighting in the area

Israelis take cover in Ashkelon, 23 July 2014Israelis have had to seek shelter from frequent rocket fire from Gaza

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) says a 3km (1.9 mile) wide strip, encompassing 44% of Gaza, has been designated as a no-go zone by the Israeli military.

Israel imposed restrictions on the Gaza Strip in 2006, after Hamas abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The measures were tightened by Israel and Egypt in 2007, after Hamas ousted rival Fatah and forcibly took control in Gaza after winning elections the year before.

Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation deal in April, but the move was condemned by Israel which regards Hamas as a terrorist group.

Israel’s Science Minister Yaakov Peri told Israeli web portal Walla that he did not see a ceasefire being agreed in the coming days, as the IDF needed more time to dismantle Hamas’ underground tunnel network.

Are you in Israel or Gaza? Are you affected by the violence? You can email your experiences to [email protected], using the subject line ‘Israel Gaza’.

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