Up to 49 Palestinians wounded in clashes at Gaza strip border
The clashes erupted during an anti-settlement protest at the eastern border of the Gaza strip. Thousands of Palestinians are said to have taken part in the demonstrations.
Local media reported that up to 49 people had been wounded by Israeli Armed Forces, 19 of them allegedly by live fire. Also, eight volunteer health workers and one journalist were said to have sustained injuries.
Earlier reports stated that Israel and Hamas had struck a deal on a cease-fire along the border. According to an Israeli official, Israel would renew the delivery of fuel to Gaza (halted on June 25), expand the fishing zone around the Gaza Strip to 15 nautical miles (28 kilometres) and return confiscated Palestinian fishing boats, Haaretz reported.
In exchange, Israel demanded that Hamas halt violence in the buffer zone. Hamas was to ensure the demonstrations at the border remain peaceful and to stop the launch of airborne firebombs into Israeli territory.
This week, Gazans held their Great March of Return demonstrations for the 63rd week in a row. They are demanding the return of Palestinian refugees to historical Palestine, currently Israeli territory. They are also calling for an end to Israel’s 12-year-long blockade of the Gaza Strip. Dozens of protesters have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces as a result of these weekly demonstrations, with many more people injured on both sides.