Palestinians Culminate Weeks of Protests on Gaza Border

Howard TerryJun 10, 2018

At least 124 Palestinians, including journalists and medics, have been shot dead by Israelis in Gaza since late March, when Palestinians launched the Great March of Return protest campaign to demand the right of return for refugees displaced in 1948 from their towns and villages in what is now Israel.

On Thursday Israel dropped leaflets in Gaza urging Palestinians not to take part in protests or try to breach the fence on Friday, "and not to allow Hamas to use you for its narrow factional interests, which Iran is inspiring".

"Conference calls on the UK Government to condemn actions that are illegal under worldwide law, including Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, to take an active role in implementing United Nations resolutions on the region and to lead global efforts to end the siege on Gaza".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quoted by Israeli media accompanying him on a visit to London, said he was concerned "there could be pressure to cancel other events in other fields as well".

There have been no Israeli casualties from the more than two months of confrontations along the Gaza border.

Palestinians are planning the largest turnout in history for Quds Day, with organizers claiming that a million people will join rallies against Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Sheppard went further, saying if anything Israel's actions "were driving Palestinians into the hands of terrorists".

The protests have largely been organized by Hamas and to some extent by the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group. The Palestinian FA had also threatened Argentina's bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2030 over the soccer match in Israel.

The worldwide community has accused Israel of an excessive use of force during the protests, which left more than 115 Palestinians dead since the end of March.

At the same time, Israel has faced fierce criticism over its use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters on the Gaza Strip border with the Jewish state.

Israel has accused Hamas of trying to carry out attacks and damage the fence under the guise of the protests, and that it only targets instigators. Both have received political and financial backing from Iran, but also pursue their own agendas. Growing despair in Gaza over blockade-linked hardships, including daily power cuts and rising poverty, have driven turnout.

Several European countries have tried to dissuade Palestinians and Arab countries from demanding a vote in the General Assembly after last week's USA veto.

The territory has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which it has fought three wars against Israel.

Al-Quds day was observed throughout the country on Friday. Israel's current government has said it will not accept a partition of the city as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

East Jerusalem houses major shrines revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Thousands of protesters assembled on the streets of Tehran to hear their leaders trash Israel, the USA, and their allies across the globe, with many chanting "Death to America" while burning the USA flag.

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