Egyptian mediators tour eastern Gaza amid 32nd "peaceful" anti-Israel rally

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-02 23:58:05|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GAZA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Senior Egyptian security intelligence officials toured on Friday afternoon the eastern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel amid the ongoing anti-Israel rally for the 32nd week.

Ahmad Abdul Khaleq, head of the Egyptian delegation, arrived in Gaza on Thursday and agreed with leaders of the Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Hamas movement, to keep the anti-Israel marches "peaceful," according to al-Aqsa TV, a Gaza-based satellite channel.

On Friday afternoon, tens of thousands of Palestinians joined the 32nd anti-Israel March of Return rally starting on March 30. They waved Palestinian flags and carried out non-violent activities.

Eyewitnesses and local media said the protesting crowds kept a distance of 300 meters from the border security fence with Israel despite a few exceptions.

Asharf al-Qedra, spokesman of the health ministry in Gaza, said in a press statement that seven demonstrators were shot and wounded by Israeli gunfire and 25 suffered suffocation after inhaling Israeli tear gas fired at them.

This Friday's protests were also organized to mark the 101th year of Balfour Declaration, issued on Nov. 2, 1917 by the British government to give the Jews "a national home" in historical Palestine.

Earlier in the day, Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, told the demonstrators in eastern Gaza that the success of the mediator's efforts to end the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip "is imminent."

"The occupation (Israel) is under our test, but we are certain that the mediators are able to restrain the occupation and its crimes," al-Hayya said.

According to the Gaza health ministry, the Israeli army has killed 2,017 Palestinians and wounded more than 23,000 others since March 30, with 6,000 of them shot in their limbs.