Clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza wound 37 demonstrators: medics

Debriefer - Xinhua
2018-11-09 | Since 1 Month

At least 37 Palestinian demonstrators were injured by live gunshots in the clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics and local media in Gaza said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Gaza Health Ministry, confirmed the deaths.

Clashes broke out after the high commission of the marches of return and breaking the siege called on the Palestinians to join the 33rd Friday of the anti-Israel protests in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the fence of the border with Israel.

Demonstrators burned few tires, waved Palestinian flags and tried to approach the fence of the border with Israel. Israeli soldiers stationed on the border fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse them.

The protests and clashes broke out in eastern Gaza despite an understanding of calm was brokered by a senior Egyptian security intelligence delegation between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip.

However, Yehia Sinwar, Hamas chief in the Gaza Strip, who joined the marches of return in eastern Gaza city, told reporters that "there are no agreements reached with the (Israeli) occupation at all."

"We are reaching understandings with our brothers, the Egyptians, the Qataris, the United Nations representatives and other various parties, in order to break the siege that is imposed on Gaza," said Sinwar.

Since the outbreak of the marches of return on March 30, the Israeli army shot dead 221 Palestinians and wounded around 24,000 others. Around 40 percent of them were injured by Israeli soldiers' gunfire.

Although 23,000 civil servants who were appointed by Hamas after it seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 got their delayed salaries paid on Friday, hundreds of protesters demonstrated at the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.

In order to succeed the clam understandings reached between Hamas and Israel via Egypt, the UN and Qatar, the latter agreed to pay 90 million U.S. dollars for the salaries of Hamas civil servants.

Qatar's financial contribution was part of the reached calm understandings between Hamas and Israel, which is to improve the hard living humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave.

Mohamed Amadi, the Qatari ambassador, who chairs the Qatari committee to reconstruct Gaza, arrived in the Gaza Strip on Thursday night to supervise the payment of the salaries.

"We will carry on with our grant of paying the salaries and support the poor families in the Gaza Strip, which will go on for six months," said Amadi, adding that "15 million U.S. dollars will be paid for salaries and 10 million U.S. dollars for fuel."

The fuel was provided to operate Gaza power station, resolve an electricity crisis and shortage of power in the coastal enclave that has been going on for more than a year.

"We agreed with the Israeli side on many things related to easing the hard living situation in the Gaza Strip, mainly resolving the electricity crisis," said Amadi.

Amadi visited on Friday in eastern Gaza city. However, eyewitnesses said that his convoy of vehicles was stoned by several demonstrators in the area.

Hamas movement denied that Amadi's convoy was attacked by demonstrators.

"We highly appreciate the Qatari efforts in easing the suffering of our Palestinian people," said Hamas spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum in an emailed press statement.

He added that "what the Qatari ambassador is doing is really a great appreciated effort in supporting our just causes and in supporting our people in the Gaza Strip to end the unfair siege imposed on them."

Abdulatif al-Qanou'a, Hamas spokesman, said in a press statement that the Qatari grant of salaries, helping poor families and paying for the fuel to resolve the electricity crisis won't weaken the marches of return.

"The marches of return will go on and will continue until it achieves its goals of the complete lifting of the unfair siege," said al-Qanou'a, adding that "the recent relaxations that happened in Gaza are not enough."


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