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Hamas plans protest against Gaza blockade

Hamas plans protest against Gaza blockade

Israeli forces along the border with Gaza were braced yesterday to keep a Hamas demonstration against Israel's blockade of Gaza from turning into a mass breakout like last month's storming of the Gaza-Egypt border.
Hamas planned to send thousands of civilians in the direction of the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza yesterday, protesting chronic shortages of vital supplies in Gaza because of the Israeli restrictions.
Israeli defense officials said they were taking steps to keep Palestinians from flooding into Israel, though they discounted rumors that Hamas would encourage the demonstrators to try to break down the border crossing.
Last month Hamas militants knocked down the wall between Gaza and Egypt with explosives, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians raced across the border, flooding Egyptian towns and buying everything in sight.
It was a taste of freedom after months of shortages because of the Israeli blockade, imposed after the militant Islamic Hamas overran Gaza last June, expelling Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The blockade was tightened last month after an upsurge in daily rockets attacks on Israel from Gaza.
Egypt reclosed the border after about two weeks.
Morning radio newscasts said the army had moved an artillery battery up to the Israel-Gaza border and that thousands of police with non-lethal crowd control devices would back up soldiers during demonstrations on the other side. Israeli leaders said they would not allow Palestinians to enter their country.


Updated : 2021-04-13 08:26 GMT+08:00