Clashes along Israel-Gaza border leads to a renewed closure of Erez crossing

Reports of a looming ceasefire between the Islamist Hamas and Israel did not sway Gazan Palestinians to halt their violent protests along the enclave’s border-fence with the Jewish state. Three days after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman decided to ease restrictions on the blockaded Gaza Strip, protests along the border-fence resumed over the weekend, during which Palestinian demonstrators reportedly hurled rocks and explosive devices towards IDF troops guarding the security fence. At one point several Palestinians managed to cross the security-fence into Israel, but immediately turned back, that after IDF soldiers applied crowd-control measures and opened live gunfire, in accordance with the rules of engagement – dictated by Jerusalem. While no injuries were reported among the Israeli troops; the Palestinian health authorities reported that two protesters were killed during the clashes. In response to the violent clashes along the enclave’s border-fence, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed the closure of the Erez border-crossing. As part of his decision, passage will only be made possible for humanitarian cases. The top Israeli defense official re-emphasized to the Palestinian residence of Gaza, that ‘only quiet will be met with humanitarian relief.’

The protests over the weekend were not exclusive for Gaza, as a violent demonstration was also reported in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum, which is located near the city of Nablus. The Palestinian protesters said that the demonstration was against U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” which they claimed ‘does not maintain the Palestinian plight at heart.