Two Palestinian Rioters Killed on Gaza Border, Jerusalem Stabber Shot Dead
Israeli troops killed two Palestinian rioters and wounded scores of others taking part in weekly Gaza border protests on Friday, medics said, as Egyptian mediators tried to clinch a truce deal that would calm the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Also on Friday, Israeli police said they shot dead an Arab who attacked them in Jerusalem’s Old City with a knife after leaving a mosque complex.
After a more than four-month surge in confrontations on the border with the Gaza Strip, Israel this week eased its clampdown on the territory’s commercial traffic and fishing. Cairo said it was finalizing details of a longer-term accommodation between Israel and Hamas.
Some 20,000 people participated in Friday’s protests, which took place a few hundred meters from the fence, though dozens came closer, with some rolling burning tires, witnesses said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops responded with “riot-dispersal means” to prevent breaches of the border.
Israel sees the Gaza protests as a bid by Hamas, against which it has fought three wars in the last decade, to use civilians as cover for cross-border attacks.
Hamas official Izzat Reshiq said on Friday the group, and other Palestinian factions, had concluded a round of talks with Egyptian security officials over a possible truce with Israel and that further talks were scheduled for later this month.
“Efforts will resume after the holiday of Eid Al-Adha,” Reshiq said on Twitter, referring to a Muslim festival that begins on Aug. 21 and ends on Aug. 24.
Separately, Israeli police said they were attacked on Friday by a knife-wielding man after he emerged from the Temple Mount complex housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest shrine, in Jerusalem.
The man was shot dead, police said, describing him as a resident of a northern Israeli-Arab town where pro-Palestinian sympathies are strong.