Egypt delegation visits Israel-Gaza border protests amid truce negotiations
An Egyptian security delegation visited protests along the Gaza-Israel border Friday, organizers said, as it sought to broker a long-term truce between Israel and the Palestinian faction of Hamas.
In the first such publicly announced visit by Egyptian officials, the delegation briefly attended the Palestinian demonstrations in northern Gaza, a statement from the head of the organizing committee said.
Eyewitnesses said a car carrying the delegation briefly drove to a protest site a few hundred meters from the border, before departing.
Friday’s protests come amid talk of a breakthrough in months of Egyptian-led negotiations. Read more
A truce deal would see the often-violent protests end in exchange for an easing of Israel’s crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Thousands again gathered at multiple sites near the frontier Friday but largely stayed away from the border fence, AFP correspondents said.
Hamas security prevented protesters from approaching the border too closely, the correspondents said.
In total seven Palestinians were shot and wounded, the health ministry in the strip said.
At least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests began on March 30.
One Israeli soldier was 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.