Friday, 22 June, 2018

New Palestinian flotilla aims to break Israeli blockade of Gaza

Israeli soldiers patrol the border with Gaza where there were violent clashes earlier this month Israeli soldiers patrol the border with Gaza where there were violent clashes earlier this month
Charlie Simmons | 28 May, 2018, 11:47

"IDF troops detonated an explosive device that was placed adjacent to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday, with the intention of harming IDF soldiers who were present in the area", an army statement said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the construction of the barrier constitutes an additional blow to Hamas' capabilities: "This is the only barrier of its kind in the world, which will effectively block the possibility of infiltrating into Israel by sea", he said.

The deceased were identified as 25-year-old Hussein al-Amour and 28-year-old Abdul Haleem al-Naqa, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Israeli aircraft struck two Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday night, but there were no immediate reports of casualties, Palestinian security sources in the coastal territory said.

A statement from the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed the two as members. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Israel has stepped up its attacks on Gaza ever since Palestinians began the Great March of Return protests on March 30.

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Tuesday's Gaza flotilla will coincide with the 8th anniversary of an Israeli attack on the Turkish "Mavi Marmara" flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists were killed when the Israeli navy attacked the vessel in global waters.

On May 14 - the bloodiest day of the conflict coinciding with the US's highly-contested embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - at least 60 Palestinians were killed by IDF live fire.

Low-level demonstrations along the border have continued since protests peaked on 14 May, when at least 61 Palestinians died while tens of thousands of Gazans protested as the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Israeli authorities are also constructing an underground barrier beneath the Gaza-Israel boundary to stop Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.

It accuses Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.

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