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High-schoolers Embark On Protest March From Gaza Border To Jerusalem

Scores of Israeli high school students from towns adjacent to the Gaza Strip have embarked on a protest march to raise awareness of the plight of their rocket-battered region. The 90-kilometer journey is slated to take five days and will end on Thursday at the parliament in Jerusalem, where participants—adorned in t-shirts reading “Let us grow up in peace”—are expected to call on the government to do more to end ongoing violence in the south. For over six months, tens of thousands of Palestinians have staged weekly riots along the security fence as part of the Hamas-initiated “March of Return” protests. Gazans concurrently have flown thousands of incendiary and explosive objects—ranging from kites to balloons to inflated condoms—across the border, destroying about half of the surrounding forestry and massive expanses of farmland. There also have been intermittent major flare-ups in which dozens of missiles were fired into southern Israel, to which the military responded by striking terror sites in the enclave. The student demonstration comes amid reports that Israel and Hamas are close to reaching an informal, phased cease-fire deal to “restore normalcy.” According to Arab media, any such arrangement would include a partial lifting of the blockade on the Palestinian territory and the issuing of Israeli work permits to upwards of 5,000 Gazans.

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