Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Netanyahu defends Qatari cash infusion for Gaza

Residents from the south and activists from the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization block trucks entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing Netanyahu Approves Qatari Salary Deal as 'Right Step' to Avoid Gaza Collapse
Patty Aguilar | 12 November, 2018, 07:03

Elite Israeli occupation soldiers crossed the border into Gaza on Sunday in a civilian vehicle in a special operation to assassinate Hamas commander prompting an exchange of fire between Zionist soldiers and the Palestinian resistance.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said six Palestinians were killed.

Hamas said the incident began when assailants in a passing auto opened fire on a group of its armed men, killing one of its commanders.

The officer was killed following an exchange of fire that escalated during a Special Forces operation in the Strip, the IDF said, adding that the families had been notified but did not reveal any further details on the identity of the soldiers.

Israeli Website Walla admitted that a Zionist soldier was killed and another was seriously injured after clashes between the Palestinian resistance and an Israeli occupation force east of Khan Younis. It was unclear if the other fatalities included gunmen.

Officials in Netanyahu's office said he is cutting his Paris visit short and will return tonight instead of Monday morning, due to the intense Gaza incidents.

Weekly Gaza border protests, dubbed the "Great March of Return", have been going on since March 30 and have mostly involved the burning of tires and rock-throwing along the security fence, but have also seen shooting attacks, bombings and attempted border breaches as well as the launching of incendiary balloons and kites into Israel.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from missile strikes and local government officials said some alarms may have been triggered by the IDF's air raids, not by rockets from Gaza.

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"Every action, without exception, has a price", he said.

Border protests have been much calmer the last two Fridays, the day they usually peak.

On Friday, Palestinian civil servants began receiving payments after months of sporadic salary disbursements in cash-strapped Gaza, with $15 million delivered into the enclave through Israel in suitcases.

Mr Netanyahu told reporters it was "the right step" at the moment and he was committed to restoring quiet along the Israel-Gaza frontier and preventing a humanitarian crisis in the coastal Palestinian territory.

The blockade has led to over 50% unemployment, power outages, and prevents many Gazans from being able to leave the tiny territory. "And I can handle the price".

Netanyahu said the Israeli security establishment supported the move and that ministers in his security cabinet approved it.

Later, at a press conference in Paris, when asked about his longer-term vision for Gaza, Netanyahu said there could be no political resolution as long as Hamas is in power.

The fighting punctured a reprieve in border tensions between Gaza and Israel.

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