The violent protests along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel have dwindled significantly, with only several hundreds’ partaking in demonstrations over the weekend at five separate locations along the security fence. As part of the demonstrations, Palestinians set tires on fire, hurled rocks toward Israeli troops stationed along the Israeli side of the security fence and set kites ablaze in a reoccurring effort by Palestinian rioters to burn Israeli agricultural fields that are situated along the enclave’s frontier. The Israeli military released a statement in which it emphasized the IDF’s ongoing operation to thwart Palestinians from infiltrating Israeli territory, while responding to the violent riots using “crowd-control measures” as well as live fire in cases of attempted infiltrations – in accordance with the rules-of-engagement directives that were dictated by the political echelon in Jerusalem.
The leader of the Islamist Hamas organization, Ismail Haniyeh, declared the ongoing Palestinian protests along the Israeli frontier will continue, so-long as the blockade on the Gaza Strip remains. “This march will never stop until the blockade is completely lifted off the Gaza Strip. We no longer rely on promises and we no longer rely on delegations and we no longer rely on partial solutions. Either that the blockade is completely lifted off the Gaza Strip or the march will continue and take creative forms,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said.
The leader of the internationally recognized terror group further asserted that the protests, even though they exerted a high death toll of members of his organization, served its goal, due to the fact that Egypt has decided to open its Rafah border crossing, for the entire duration of the Muslim month of Ramadan. Cairo’s decision to open the border-crossing with the Palestinian enclave was warmly welcomed by Palestinian residents of Gaza, who voiced hope for a new reality. “The problem will be solved so that people can live, come, go and move. (I hope that) everyone could fulfil their needs, anyone that needs to travel, to go to university, or whatever he has, to go to hospitals, the patients or the injuries,” Gaza Resident waiting to cross into Egypt Barrawy Hamatto said.
“I consider this a mercy from God. We need this. We have a lot of students, people with residencies and patients (that need to travel). We consider Egypt as a mother that takes care of the Palestinian people and the Gazans. Thanks for the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people for opening the border,” Gaza Resident waiting to cross into Egypt Kamal al-Nimrah said.