Report: Hamas to suspend violent protests along Gaza border until Sunday

Palestinian factions to allow Egypt and the UN to continue efforts to restore calm.

November 1, 2018 15:54
2 minute read.
Report: Hamas to suspend violent protests along Gaza border until Sunday

A Palestinian demonstrator reacts during a protest calling for lifting the blockade on Gaza, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in Gaza October 26, 2018. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have temporarily agreed to halt their violent attacks against Israel until Sunday, including the Friday riots along the border fence, the launching of incendiary balloons and attempts to infiltrate Israel, Ynet reported.

But the weekly protests that have been held by the border will continue without the violence from past weeks and it will be set some 500 meters away from the barrier.

Last week some 16,000 Palestinians protested by the barrier.

The cessation of violence is to allow Egypt and the United Nations to continue their efforts to restore the situation to what it was prior to the start of the Great March of Return on March 30.

Both Egypt and the UN hope to create a long term understanding, or even a ceasefire, that would ease the humanitarian situation for the 2 million people living in Gaza and prevent further outbreaks of violence between the IDF and Hamas.

As part of those efforts, Israel has facilitated the shipment of Qatari funded fuel into Gaza for its power plant. As a result Gaza residents are now receiving more than eight hours of electricity a day, instead of the four they had been receiving.

Additional efforts would include a UN Qatari mechanism, by which Qatar will fund the civil service salaries that Abbas halted in his attempt to force Hams to relinquish its military rule of Gaza, according to Ynet.

As part of those steps, Israel would also increase the amount of electricity it sends into Gaza, improvements in the operation at the Rafah crossing from Egypt into the strip, and a $600 million rebuilding project for Gaza.

The report had much more details than in the past about concrete steps toward the restoration of calm, but was otherwise similar to the week before when it was expected that Friday’s violence would be halted.

Instead, the deal fell apart at the last moment. Four Palestinians were killed during the weekly Friday clashes. From 10 p.m. on Friday to 11 a.m. on Saturday Palestinians launched 37 rockets at Israel, which retaliated with 95 military strikes. There were no fatalities.

Earlier in the day, an explosive balloon was discovered in the courtyard of a kindergarten in the Eshkol Regional Council, near the Gaza Strip. The suspicious object was discovered by the kindergarten teacher, who moved the children to a safe location and informed the community security officer.

In a separate incident, an explosive balloon launched from Gaza set a car on fire in southern Israel, according to the IDF.

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