Gaza protest leaders are calling for calmer border demonstrations Friday to give a chance to efforts to reach a long-term truce with Israel after months of deadly unrest, a source in the organizing committee said.
However, previous such hopes for a deal have been dashed since protests and clashes along the border between Israel and the blockaded Gaza Strip began on March 30.
It was not clear if demonstrators would heed calls for calm.
Egypt and UN officials have been engaged in indirect talks between Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, and Israel.
An Egyptian delegation was in Gaza on Thursday for further discussions.
“Friday’s events will be quiet,” an official from the committee in charge of organizing the marches told AFP Thursday, on condition of anonymity.
The committee is technically independent from Hamas, but includes representatives allied to the Islamist movement.
The official said the agreement to quieten the border Friday “will give an opportunity for the success of the Egyptian efforts to (achieve) calm and lift the siege.”
Protests would still go ahead, he said, but demonstrators would be encouraged not to approach the fence too closely, burn tires or send balloons equipped with incendiary devices across the border.
Seven Palestinians died in renewed clashes along the border last Friday.
Since often violent protests began on March 30, at least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
One Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper.
Demonstrators are calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to the homes their families fled or were expelled from in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel and which are now inside the Jewish state.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and the recent unrest has raised fears of a fourth.
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