Israel increases armoured presence at Gaza border amid continuing protests

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot at Glilot military base near Tel Aviv

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot at Glilot military base near Tel Aviv

According to Palestinian media reports, the visit comes within the framework of ongoing Hamas-Egypt talks about inter-Palestinian reconciliation and a proposed truce between Israel and Gaza-based resistance groups.

The Home Front Command lifted security restrictions on Gaza border communities on Thursday after a night without rocket fire from Gaza.

As a result of wounds received 130 Palestinian demonstrators.

"The Israeli enemy's threats have effectively motivated the crowds to participate powerfully in the protest", said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, which has staged the protests since March.

One out of two Palestinians in Gaza also now lives below the poverty line, he said.

Euro-Med described the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza fence as "deeply shocking", noting that in the 200 days of protests, Gaza lost 205 residents.

Some protesters launched kites and balloons equipped with crude incendiary devices across the border into southern Israel.

The remarks came after the Israeli army said that a rocket fired from Gaza had hit the city of Beersheba in the Negev Desert and a second had landed in the sea. During the 51-day assault, over 2,100 Palestinians were killed, with another 10,000 injured.

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Tensions have been running high near the border fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests dubbed "The Great March of Return". At least 156 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire at the protests, and an Israeli solider was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

"The three armed conflicts between Israel and Hamas have had catastrophic consequences for the population of Gaza, which continues to suffer from 11 years of living under a brutal blockade", said Saleh Higazi.

Israeli forces showered the demonstrators with tear gas and occasionally live fire.

Palestinians have been protesting along the border since March 30, demanding an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza and the right to return to lands that Palestinians fled or were driven from upon Israel's founding in 1948.

While no injuries were reported in either strikes on Wednesday morning, Israel pinned the blame for rocket launches on Hamas to justify 20 terror sites inside Gaza and destroying a terror tunnel near Khan Yunis.

Last Friday, some 14,000 Palestinians thronged to the perimeter fence, burning tires and throwing rocks, firebombs and grenades at soldiers on the other side.

Since March, Palestinians have marched to the border fence every Friday and occasionally breached it.

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