Gaza riots resume after 3-week pause

Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated along the Gaza-Israel border as the Hamas terror group resumed the regular protests after a three-week pause.

By World Israel News and AP

Hamas’ renewed weekly protests came as leaders from the terror group and the smaller but more radical Islamic Jihad were in Cairo, talking with Egyptian mediators about cementing a cease-fire with Israel.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad launch rockets at Israeli civilians, with the former operating cells in Judea and Samaria that commit terror attacks at the direction of Gaza-based handlers.

Organizers of the marches largely kept protesters from burning tires or throwing firebombs, which are standard activities at the riots, only a few Palestinians approaching the security barrier to hurl stones at Israeli troops with slingshots.

The health ministry said 14 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire, four of them with live gunshots.

Hamas had put the weekly marches on hold since mid-November following a short round of cross-border fighting with Israel.

The fighting began after Israel eliminated a senior Islamic Jihad commander, after which the terror group launched around 450 rockets at Israel. Over the past decade, Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and dozens of shorter skirmishes.

“[W]e will continue the protests until the siege is broken,” said Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman, referring to a blockade maintained by Egypt and Israel to prevent infiltration by terrorists from the coastal enclave.

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Unconfirmed reports say Egypt has proposed a five-year truce that will see economic incentives to Gaza to sustain calm.