Seven Palestinian protesters hurt by Israeli fire in Gaza

GAZA CITY: 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 on Thursday suggested Egypt had brokered a deal that would see Gaza’s 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 on 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 during fierce clashes, according to the ministry.
At least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests began on March 30.
One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.
Brazil Embassy move slammed: A senior Palestinian official on Friday condemned Brazilian far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s announcement that he would move his country’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem.
The move announced on Thursday comes six months after the United States controversially transferred its embassy, and aligns the incoming Brazilian leader squarely with US President Donald Trump.
The Palestinians consider the Israeli-annexed eastern part of the city the capital of their future state.
“These are provocative and illegal steps that will only destabilise security and stability in the region,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, said.
“It is very unfortunate that Brazil has joined this negative alliance against international law,” she said, referring to a small number of countries supporting the US decision, which sparked fury among Palestinians. — AFP