Thousands of Palestinians protested along the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, November 2, in what were the calmest Friday demonstrations witnessed on the border in months. Around 87 Palestinians were wounded in associated clashes with Israeli troops; most of those hospitalized suffered from tear gas inhalation and no serious injuries were reported.
The apparent de-escalation in clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters comes after Egypt reportedly brokered an agreement between Palestinian militant groups and Israel to end the violence along the Israel-Gaza border. On Thursday, November 1, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and other Palestinian groups agreed to lower tensions along the border, including encouraging protesters to stop lighting tires on fire, launching airborne incendiary devices, and approaching the Israeli side of the border. Israel, for its part, has reportedly agreed to expand the size of the fishing zone off the Gazan coast, allow fuel deliveries to enter Gaza, and transfer Qatari funds to Gaza for the salaries of Hamas-hired public employees. Despite the agreement, additional Palestinian protests are to be expected near the Israel-Gaza border over the coming weeks; clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters cannot be ruled out.
Palestinian protesters have rallied at the Gaza border fence since March 30 in a Hamas-supported movement dubbed "The Great March of Return." Over 215 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed in border clashes since the protests began.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence. 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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