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Gazans burn tires near fence for second night to protest Israeli siege

Palestinian protesters burn tires following a demonstration along the fence between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories east of Gaza City on August 28, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Hundreds of Palestinians have staged a protest against the Israeli regime’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, burning tires and hurling explosive devices toward the fence between Gaza and the occupied territories for the second night in a row.

The Israeli military, which deployed additional troops along the fence ahead of the Sunday night protests, used live fire, tear gas and stun grenades against Palestinian protesters.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, eighteen Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces east of the Gaza Strip, including one with live fire.

The ministry’s spokesman, Ashraf al-Qedra, said others were hurt from tear gas canisters fired at them.

During Saturday night’s protests, eleven Palestinians were injured by live fire and other aggressive measures used by Israeli forces.

Gazans have been organizing protests since last week. They are demanding that the border crossings be reopened to facilitate the entry of goods and humanitarian aid.

In a statement on Sunday, the resistance committees in Palestine announced that the protests will continue until the Israeli regime lifts its siege.

“The young people will devise new means to force the occupation to yield to the resistance’s demands,” the committees said, according to the Palestinian Information Center.

They asserted that the Israeli regime’s repeated attacks on the positions of the resistance in Gaza would not dissuade the Palestinian people from fighting for their freedom and dignity.

The resistance would not allow the occupying regime to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people or change the rules of engagement, they warned.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since 2007 when Palestinian resistance movement Hamas took control of the enclave. 

Tensions have spiked along the fence in recent weeks over the Israeli regime’s tight blockade, which now includes deliberate hampering of efforts to reconstruct the strip following its latest war on Gaza.

Back in May, the Israeli military bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip for 11 consecutive days, killing at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

The Gaza-based resistance groups fired around 4,000 rockets towards the Israeli-occupied territories during the 11-day war, forcing Tel Aviv to call for a ceasefire.

Abbas, Gantz meet in Ramallah

Amid the ongoing confrontations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli minister for military affairs Benny Gantz met in Ramallah on Sunday, marking the highest-level meeting held between the two sides in over a decade.

“President Mahmoud Abbas met this evening in Ramallah with Mr. Benny Gantz, where they discussed all aspects of Palestinian-Israeli relations,” tweeted senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh.

The two discussed issues related to security, diplomacy, economics and civil affairs, according to a statement from Gantz’s office.

“They also discussed shaping the security and economic situations in the West Bank and in Gaza,” the statement said. “They agreed to continue communicating further on the issues that were raised during the meeting.”

The meeting came days after Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett met with US President Joe Biden at the White House, where Biden underscored the importance of refraining from actions that could exacerbate tensions.

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