An explosion is seen following an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa An explosion is seen following an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Hamas declares truce agreement after 17 weeks of clashes

Sat, Jul. 21, 2018
CAIRO - 21 July 2018: Hamas spokesperson announced on Saturday that mediation by Egypt and the United Nations led to an agreement to reinstate peace between Palestinian factions and Israel.

The statement is issued one day after four Palestinians were shot dead, and the targeting of an Israeli soldier by a sniper. The latter incident was the first since 2014. In the morning, the Israeli military declared it had bombarded five Hamas targets northern Gaza in addition to 25 others in Khan Yunis to the south. It also stated that “the strikes would continue,” according to BBC.

Contrary to previous media reports unveiling a ceasefire, the Israeli army launched a series of attacks on Gaza Strip - the biggest since 2014 - in response to incendiary balloons and kites flown over the border allegedly burning 7,000 acres.

The fight, which sparked as protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, has been going on for 17 weeks resulting in more than 140 casualties of mostly unarmed civilians as well as injuring hundreds, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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: Palestinian paramedics mourn over the death of their colleague Razan al-Najjar in a hallway of Khan Yunis hospital in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. (Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Among those killed by the Israeli forces near the border fence is Palestinian medic Rasan al-Najjar, 21, who was shot dead in June. In April, Palestinian photographer Yaser Murtaja, 31, died after he had been wounded by Israeli fire while covering “The Great March of Return.” Both were putting on vests indicating their professions.

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Mourners and journalists carry the body of Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, during his funeral in Gaza City on April 7, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

The Israeli authorities, on the other hand, denied any intentional killing saying an investigation would take place.

The protests started on March 30 marking the Palestinian “Land Day” dating back to 1976 whereas Palestinian lands were ceased by Israel to build kibbutz. The demonstrations aim at demanding the return of Palestinians to the towns and villages from which they were displaced as the Israeli state was expanding since its foundation in 1948.

Those clashes are the second to erupt after U.S. President Donald Trump announced moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the city as the Israeli capital on Dec. 6, 2017. Consequently, international objection and protests in the Palestinian territories erupted causing 10 deaths and over 2,000 injuries among Palestinians.

On Dec. 9, about 3,000 people in Bangladesh gathered in front of the main mosque in the capital, Dhaka, to protest against Trump's decision. On Dec. 10, Tear gas was used to disperse protesters outside the U.S. embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut.




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