On August 10th, two Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli Forces during the weekly protests along the Gaza Strip. One of the victims was a paramedic.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidreh, cited by Middle East Eye, said that Abdullah al-Qattati, who was in his 20s, was shot in the chest near Rafah in southern Gaza while treating the wounded and 55-year-old Ali al-Alloul was also killed in the same area.
He is further cited to have said that another 242 Palestinians were injured during the protest.
This incident comes after Gaza’s Hamas group and Israel agreed on a ceasefire on August 9th. The agreement ended an escalation which led to exchange of rocket launches from both sides. The exchange was caused by misunderstanding by Israel Defense Forces which prompted them to fire a tank shell, killing two Hamas soldiers. As a retaliation to the tank fire, Hamas launched rockets, to which Israeli Defense Forces answered with rocket fire of their own.
Since March 30th, when the weekly protests began, the Gaza Healthy Ministry estimates that at least 158 Palestinians have been killed and another 17,350 have been wounded by Israeli forces stationed beyond the Gaza Strip fence.
The protests aim to draw attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza. The large turnout of Palestinians at the protests is due to the worsening conditions caused by the blockade. Palestinians only get electricity for a few hours per day, there is high unemployment and poverty. Israel insists that Hamas is behind the protests, which the activists who lead the protests have denied.
With the establishment of the August 10th ceasefire, as reported by News Hub, organizers of the border protests drove the streets of Gaza with loudspeakers, calling for massive attendance.
Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV channel reported late August 9th that the Egyptian-brokered deal took hold “on the basis of mutual calm.” There is still no further information about the agreement and whether it addresses the deeper issues that have prevented the sides from reaching a long-term ceasefire agreement.
Egypt and the UN have attempted, and presumably succeeded in mediating a comprehensive ceasefire to prevent all-out war and to ease the crisis in Gaza.