Gazans rally near Israel border in blockade-busting campaign

Glen Norman
May 12, 2018

Since the border rallies began on March 30, at least 48 Palestinians have been martyred - and hundreds more injured - by cross-border Israeli army gunfire, according to the Health Ministry.

Auckland Peace Action is holding a public "Wall of Noise" protest at the 70th Israeli Independence Day on Sunday, 13 May from 1:30pm (meeting at ANZ Viaduct Events Centre).

The latest bloody attack by Israel came only a few days after President Donald Trump announced that the USA was pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord and would enforce punishing economic sanctions against Iran. Jordanian, Palestinian, and green Muslim Brotherhood flags flew over the crowd of some 7,000.

One man walked onto the stage with an effigy of President Donald Trump dangling from a noose.

Israel has said that the Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, is attempting to carry out attacks on the border fence and ultimately on Israeli border communities.

On Thursday, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said he hopes to see a mass breach of the Israeli border during next week's protests timed to coincide with the USA embassy's move to Jerusalem.

The American Administration is preparing the move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next week, since U.S. president Donald Trump declared the city as the capital of Israel amid rising tensions and global criticism.

But the embassy transfer, set for Monday, will come just days after Israel and Iran traded blows across the Syrian border, firing missiles at each other Wednesday and following up with bristling threats in a steep escalation of tensions.

While al-Ayyam said 973 were injured on the Gaza border on Friday, al-Quds put the number at more than 700 in both Gaza and the West Bank.

The May 11 riots had the usual features of violence from the prior riots: rocks, burning tires, and pipe bombs were hurled at Israel Defense Force (IDF) members. From there, smaller groups moved closer to the border fence.

On Friday, the IDF accused Hamas of orchestrating the damage to Kerem Shalom, saying the ruling terror group was "harming the wellbeing of Gaza residents and paralyzing their daily life". Even as hospitals have been overwhelmed by casualties, Israel has denied permission for grievously wounded Palestinians to seek treatment outside Gaza, a callous form of collective punishment that has resulted in deaths and amputations among those hit by fire from the IDF.

Israeli soldiers fired live rounds and volleys of tear gas.

Sinwar was freed in a prisoner swap with Israel in 2011 and was elected as the movement's Gaza chief in 2017.

Protesters are demanding the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Many of Jordan's residents are descendants of Palestinian refugees.

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