Palestinian arrested after breaching Gaza border fence
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Palestinian arrested after breaching Gaza border fence

Man found to be in possession of knife and wire cutters after crossing from the north of the enclave, IDF says

View of the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip from Israel. (Doron Horowitz/Flash90)
View of the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip from Israel. (Doron Horowitz/Flash90)

Israeli forces on Saturday arrested a Palestinian who breached the Gaza border and was found to be in possession of a knife and wire-cutters, the IDF said in a statement.

The man was caught after crossing from the north of the coastal enclave, and was detained for questioning.

Such crossings are not overly rare and many times those sneaking across the border are Gazans seeking to escape the impoverished enclave.

On Friday, some 10,000 people gathered at the border, some of them burning tires and throwing stones at soldiers. Hadashot TV news said grenades were also thrown at troops during the border riots.

The Hamas-run health ministry said that one person was killed and 23 were injured in clashes with troops and an ambulance had been hit by a tear gas canister.

A Palestinian protester throws back a tear gas canister towards Israeli forces during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Gaza City on January 25, 2019. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Ehab Abed, 25, was “killed by Israeli occupation fire east of Rafah,” health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement.

Earlier on Saturday, thousands of impoverished Gazans received $100 payments from Qatar after the Gulf emirate brought in over $9 million in aid funds for the Hamas-run Palestinian territory.

Qatar had pledged to send $15 million to Gaza monthly as part of an informal agreement between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group reached in November.

Under that deal, Israel allowed the grants to go through its territory in exchange for relative calm on the Gaza border.

Security forces loyal to Hamas organize a line outside the central post office in Gaza City on January 26, 2019, as Palestinians gather to receive financial aid from the Qatari government given to impoverished families. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Most of the funds were to have been used to pay the salaries of Hamas civil servants but around $5 million monthly was for impoverished Gazans. Hamas was criticized from within Gaza for taking the money for its own officials.

The change to direct distribution to the needy came after Israel held up the delivery of the cash for several days earlier this week following a flare up of violence. Hamas then refused to accept the money, sparking fears of a breakdown in an unofficial truce.

Mohammed al-Emadi (C), chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, arrives for a press conference in Gaza City on January 25, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Qatar announced Friday that it would now use the money for humanitarian projects in coordination with the United Nations.

Speaking at a press conference, Al-Emadi stressed that the aid money from the Gulf state was not an attempt to buy the silence of border protesters, and added that he affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to demonstrate.

Hamas’s rejection of the money from Qatar stoked fears in Israel of renewed violence on the Gaza border, which has seen large-scale weekly clashes since last year and periodic flareups between the Israeli military and Palestinian terror organizations.

An Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel, Hamas seized control of Gaza from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction of the PLO in a violent coup in 2007.

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