Gaza border protest cancelled due to high temperatures, Ramadan fast
search

Gaza border protest cancelled due to high temperatures, Ramadan fast

More than 100,000 pray peacefully at al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem for second Friday of Ramadan; Hamas believed trying to calm situation

A Palestinian rioter uses a slingshot to hurl a rock at Israeli troops during Nakba Day protests east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 15, 2019. (Thomas COEX / AFP)
A Palestinian rioter uses a slingshot to hurl a rock at Israeli troops during Nakba Day protests east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 15, 2019. (Thomas COEX / AFP)

The weekly border protest at the Gaza border was cancelled on Friday due to soaring temperatures and the Ramadan fast, the protest organizing committee announced.

Meanwhile more than 100,000 Muslims, many of them from the West Bank, prayed at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Police said prayers passed without any incidents.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and sits atop the Temple Mount, the most sacred site in Judaism and revered as the home of the ancient Jewish Temples. It is often a major flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In Gaza, protest organizers said a large demonstration had already been held on Wednesday to mark Nakba Day, which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians from their homes following the creation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948.

A Palestinian man sprays water on children to help ease the heat, in front of the Dome of the Rock mosqueon the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem on May 17, 2019 during the Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

“Today there are no activities in the ‘return camps’ in the east of the Gaza Strip, due to the high temperature and to provide a break to citizens, who held a large protest two days ago,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

Retired defense official Amos Gilad told Army Radio that the Hamas terror group made the decision so the situation would remain calm while the Eurovision song contest takes place in Tel Aviv.

Palestinian protesters riot along the security fence east of Gaza City as smoke billows from fields across the fence caused by an incendiary device attached to a kite and flown across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2019. (Mahmud Hams / AFP)

Police said that security preparations were completed in Jerusalem for prayers on the second Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. Tens of thousands were expected to attend prayers in the city.

On Wednesday, Palestinians marked Nakba Day, which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the State of Israel.

Some 10,000 Palestinians demonstrated along the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip, with rioters burning tires, throwing rocks, setting off explosives and sending balloon-borne incendiary devices into southern Israel, starting at least nine fires.

Israel responded with various riot-dispersal measures. According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, some 65 Palestinians were wounded to varying degrees along the border throughout the day, one of them seriously.

Recent weeks have seen skyrocketing tensions in the Gaza Strip, following a massive two-day flare-up earlier this month between Israel and terror groups in the coastal enclave, in which terrorists fired nearly 700 rockets, mortar shells and anti-tank guided missiles at southern and central Israel, killing four people.

The military struck back, hitting over 300 targets linked with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, including several rocket-launching teams. Twenty-five Palestinians were killed in the fighting, most of them members of terror groups.

Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar recently brokered ceasefire understandings between Israel and the Hamas terror group, which Hebrew media reports have said include an end to violence emanating from Gaza in exchange for Israel easing some of its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the Strip.

The Israeli military on Thursday denied Palestinian reports that it had reduced the fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip, after extending it last week, as part of the unofficial ceasefire agreement.

AFP contributed to this report.

read more:
less
comments
more