Although ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas & Egypt and the United Nations had negotiated a “return to calm”, the situation in Gaza is still intense as violent protests in Gaza continued for the 20th consecutive Friday.
The escalation of violence in recent days has brought Gaza and Israel dangerously close to yet more conflict, the European Union said in a statement on Friday.
EU condemned Hamas rocket firing from Gaza towards Israeli communities, calling their “violent actions and provocations against Israel totally unacceptable.”
“The European Union reiterates its full support to the efforts by Egypt and the UN to reduce tensions and to alleviate the situation in Gaza, including by enhancing the international response to the current crisis and easing movement and access. We will continue to work, together with our partners, to address the humanitarian situation and to support intra-Palestinian reconciliation to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority,” EU’s statement concluded.
The statement also called on do everything to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, although it has the “right to defend itself”.
The EU statement comes after more than 180 mortar shells and rockets were launched by Hamas, Gaza’s Islamist rulers, throughout Wednesday and Thursday.
In response, the Israeli air force attacked 150 targets in the enclave, killing three Palestinians killed including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old daughter. n Israel, at least seven people were injured, including a seriously wounded 30-year-old Thai woman, i24 News reported.
Some 9,000 Palestinians demonstrators gathered at five different locations along the Gaza Strip border on Friday, Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) said, marking 20th consecutive Friday’s of protests, i24 News reported from Israel
IDF said the demonstrators were gathering in five areas along to border fence, throwing stones and explosive devices at Israeli forces and the fence itself.
The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said paramedic Abdullah al-Qatiti was killed during the clashes.
The ministry stated 110 people had been injured during border clashes with IDF, testing the calm that has descended on the region after two days of fierce fighting.
This is the 3rd such truce between Israel and Hamas in recent months.