Hamas complains to Egypt after Israeli army kills Gazan

GAZA Sat Dec 1, 2012 2:55pm EST

1 of 2. A Palestinian youth (C) waves a flag in front of Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara near Bethlehem, marking the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by the United Nations November 30, 2012. The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on November 29 overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world body to issue its long overdue 'birth certificate.'

Credit: Reuters/Ammar Awad

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GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas accused Israel on Saturday of violating the shaky, Egyptian-brokered Gaza truce of November 21 after Israeli troops killed a Palestinian taking part in a protest at the enclave's border fence.

Medical officials said the 21-year-old man had been among six Palestinians wounded by gunfire during Friday's demonstration near southern Rafah, and had later died in hospital.

The Israeli military said the Palestinians had tried to vandalize the fortified fence and that soldiers shot at their legs after first trying to warn them away.

The Gaza Strip's Hamas government described the incident, as well as the Israeli navy's seizure of nine Palestinian fisherman on Wednesday, as violations of a ceasefire mediated by Cairo to end a surge of cross-border fighting this month.

"We have discussed this with Egyptian officials, so they guarantee a cessation to those violations," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Increased Palestinian access to the Gaza fence and to fishing waters heavily patrolled by Israel were among conditions lodged by Hamas and other armed factions in the Cairo talks.

Israel said it was willing to ease its military clampdown on the territory if the Palestinians did not pose a threat.

Since 2009, the Israelis had enforced a 300-metre-deep no-go zone on the Palestinian side of the border, saying this kept away gunmen and would-be infiltrators. It had also denied Palestinians the means of working swathes of farmland.

The army suspended zone enforcement after the November 21 truce, but killed another Palestinian in a similar fence protest two days later. Hamas, while condemning Israel, deployed police to evacuate other demonstrations.

Abu Zuhri's remarks did not indicate that the Islamist movement, which remains hostile to the Jewish state, wanted to abandon the ceasefire. The eight days of fighting this month killed 166 Palestinians, while Gazan rocket fire killed six Israelis.

A smaller Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad, was more threatening than Hamas, saying in a statement that "continued and so flagrant (Israeli) violations would put the calm at risk and push resistance factions to respond in a way they deem suitable".

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (21)
JamVee wrote:
It is obvious that the Palestinian’s intent, in approaching the fence, was to provoke violence from the Israeli troops so they could exploit the resultant media attention. As much as I support many of the Palestinian’s efforts, there are too many that are stupid and do more harm than good.

Dec 01, 2012 8:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
AZreb wrote:
Wondered how long it would be before there were more killings and woundings on the border. Didn’t take long – seems like the Israelis are just looking for any excuse and, of course, their excuses will be accepted by the US.

Dec 01, 2012 9:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
Brazilian1 wrote:

Islamist Hamas remains hostile to the Jewish state but has on at least one occasion sent police to evacuate such protests since the ceasefire, saying it sought both to shore up the truce and prevent Palestinian casualties.

Hey, Hamas, why don’t you try to protect your civillians this way everytime? It is your job, you are paid to do it, right?

Dec 01, 2012 9:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
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