Gaza City, Palestine , MINA — Palestinian resistance factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad have both vowed to continue organizing daily demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone until the rallies “achieve their objectives”.
Following a late Thursday meeting between their leaders, the two groups released a joint statement emphasizing that “the rallies will continue, and their peaceful character will be maintained, until their objectives are met”.
Since March 30, Gaza-based political factions — especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad — have organized almost daily demonstrations along the buffer zone.
Protesters demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic commodities, including food, fuel and medicine.
Since the rallies began some seven months ago, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed — and thousands more injured — by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have also welcomed recent efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the UN ostensibly aimed at ending the suffering of the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank and in blockaded Gaza.
An informed Palestinian source told Anadolu Agency that Egypt’s intelligence agency, which is currently leading mediation efforts between the Palestinian factions and Israel, had made “significant progress” in truce negotiations.
According to leaked information, the proposed agreement calls for easing Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip in exchange for a halt to the ongoing protests along the buffer zone.
For the last two weeks, delegations of Egyptian security officials have engaged in intense shuttle diplomacy between Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, where they have met with Hamas, Fatah and Israeli officials respectively.
Last month, Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Qatar had agreed to finance the purchase of fuel needed to operate Gaza’s only functioning power plant. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)