Palestinian Groups: Gaza Border Protests to be Scaled Back
An umbrella organization representing groups in the Gaza Strip says that this Friday’s demonstration at the border fence with Israel will be the last in what has generally been a series of weekly protests since March 2018. Dubbed the “Great March of Return,” the rallies were an effort to rejuvenate what was seen by many as a flagging spirit of protest against Israel. The weekly demonstrations often turned violent, with upwards of 200 protesters having been killed in clashes with Israeli forces, and thousands more hurt. During one of the protests, an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper. The umbrella organization, calling itself the Higher National Committee, says that starting next week, the protests will be scaled back to once a month but would also be held on national days. Participation has largely tapered off in recent months, and observers believe that Hamas, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, is eager to reach a long-term truce with Israel regarding cross-border violence.