The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) killed a 25-year old Palestinian man and wounded at least 90 other people during a protest at the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, August 3. Around 8000 Palestinians attended the protest, according to the IDF. Meanwhile, burning kites sent from Gaza caused 26 fires in Israel while an IDF tank fired on a Hamas position. No casualties from those incidents were reported.
Continued weekly protests are expected on Fridays with similar results.
Weekly demonstrations have been held at the Gazan border with Israel since March 30. The weekly protests are part of a "Great March of Return" movement that aims to assert Palestinian claim of the "right to return" to pre-1948 lands, which Israel rejects. Gazans are also protesting the land and sea blockade and the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel has also accused Hamas of using the protests as cover for assaults on the border fence or as distractions to launch land or rocket attacks on Israeli positions. The violence this year has been the most intense since the 2014 Gaza War, with 156 Palestinians killed and around 15,000 wounded along with the death of one IDF soldier and 11 Israeli soldiers and civilians wounded.
Hamas and Israeli officials are currently negotiating in Egypt, with Hamas recently announcing they were willing to stop the protests and cease their incendiary kite campaign in exchange for two land border crossings and an easing of restrictions on goods and travel. No firm commitments have been agreed to by either side.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to avoid all protests or other public gatherings due to the high risk of violence and to monitor developments to the situation. Due to the underlying terrorist threat, travelers in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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