Day of funerals and anger in wake of Israeli sniper fire as Palestinians demand ‘revenge’
The Gaza Strip is reeling from the bloodiest episode in years after Israeli forces killed more than a dozen people during demonstrations near the frontier. Gazans had gathered as part of a “Great March of Return” protest demanding refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to their ancestral homes in Israel.
It was the start of a six-week sit-in, and was advertised as a peaceful protest, expected to continue until 15 May when Palestinians commemorate the roughly 700,000 people who either fled or were expelled from their homes in the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948. As Israeli snipers opened fire, it quickly turned into bloody chaos.
The two main Palestinian parties – the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist militant group Hamas – have run separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza respectively since 2007.
The peace process has been at death’s door since the former secretary of state John Kerry’s peace mission ended in failure in 2014. But the international community – apart from the US – is united in saying recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is disastrous for any hopes of reviving meaningful talks. The status of Jerusalem is one of the pivotal issues that diplomats and peacemakers have said must be agreed between the two parties in negotiations.
Link : The Gaza Strip mourns its dead after protest is met with bullets