Gaza protest toll rises to three

Published August 12, 2018

GAZA CITY: A 40-year-old Palestinian hit by Israeli fire on the Gaza border died of his wounds on Saturday, taking the death toll from protests the previous day to three, the territory’s health ministry said.

He was among at least 131 Palestinians wounded by Israeli bullets during Friday’s protests, even as an informal truce ending a deadly flare-up between Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas and the Israeli army largely held.

In all 307 Palestinians were wounded on Friday, some by tear gas, including two journalists and five medics, the health ministry in the coastal enclave said.

It identified the man who died on Saturday as Ahmed Abu Lulu, saying he was shot in a section of the border east of the southern city of Rafah, where the two other Pales­tinians were also killed.

The ministry had earlier identified the other two as Ali al-Alul, 55, and volunteer medic Abdullah al-Qatati, 21.

Funerals for all three Palestinians took place on Saturday and were attended by thousands of mourners.

On Friday, a few thousand protesters gathered at various locations along the border, setting tyres ablaze and throwing stones, but in smaller numbers than in previous weeks, AFP correspondents said.

The Israeli army said a grenade was thrown at troops without causing any casualties, and that soldiers responded with tank fire at two Hamas posts.

But the border was otherwise calm after a reported deal to end all rocket fire into Israel and air strikes on Gaza appeared to take effect around midnight (2100 GMT) on Thursday.

There was no official confirmation of the truce from Israel or Hamas, but there were no fresh air strikes on Friday.

Thursday had seen extensive Israeli raids in retaliation for the launching of more than 180 rockets and mortar rounds by Hamas and its allies on Wednesday night.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2018

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