Seven shot in Gaza Friday protests amid truce negotiations

Seven shot in Gaza Friday protests amid truce negotiations
Earlier reports suggested Gaza's rulers Hamas wanted to keep protests calm to give a potential ceasefire deal a chance.
2 min read
02 November, 2018
At least 218 Palestinians have been killed in border protests since 30 March [AP]

Seven Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli fire in Gaza on Friday, the health ministry in the enclave said, in the quietest weekly border protests there since they began in March.

Reports Thursday suggested Egypt had brokered a deal that would see Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas end the months of often violent demonstrations in exchange for a loosening of Israel's crippling blockade on the strip.

The protests went ahead on Friday but local media suggested Hamas was keen to keep them calm to ensure goodwill with mediators Egypt and the United Nations.

Thousands again gathered in several sites across the border Friday but largely stayed away from the barrier, AFP correspondents said.

At a demonstration east of Gaza City, Hamas security personnel were seen preventing protesters from getting too close to the fence.

Unlike previous protests, demonstrators did not fly kites with attached incendiary devices across the border to set fire to Israeli farmland, while few tyres were burned, the correspondents said.

The previous week's demonstrations saw seven Palestinians killed  and a further 180 others wounded by Israeli fire, according to the ministry.

Over the weekend, three Palestinian teenagers, ages 13 to 15, were killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

At least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests began on 30 March.

One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

Israel's siege on Gaza, blocking food, fuel and medical supplies, will make the enclave "unlivable" by 2020, the UN has warned.

Gaza's two million residents endure dire living conditions including a shortage of safe drinking water and regular power cuts.