Egyptian delegation seeks to prevent new Gaza flare-up

An Israeli military armoured personnel carrier (APC), a tank and a bulldozer are seen next to the border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 14 July 2019

Egyptian delegation seeks to prevent new Gaza flare-up

  • Hamas said the discussions included talks on “understandings with the enemy”
  • Abbas met with the delegation in Ramallah on Saturday on the Gaza-Israel cease-fire and attempts to heal the long-existing division between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah

RAMALLAH: Egyptian security officials have held talks with Palestinian leaders in recent days in part to prevent a new flare-up of tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said Sunday.
The Egyptian delegation led by deputy intelligence chief Ayman Badie was in the Gaza Strip on Friday and Saturday and the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the officials said.
A statement on Saturday from Hamas said the discussions included talks on “understandings with the enemy” — a reference to a fragile cease-fire with Israel tested in recent days.
Contacted on Sunday, a Hamas official said the movement did not want to comment further beyond its official statements.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas met with the delegation in Ramallah on Saturday on the Gaza-Israel cease-fire and attempts to heal the long-existing division between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah, official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.
Fresh tensions were feared after Israel shot dead a Hamas militant on Thursday along the border with the Gaza Strip, prompting the movement to vow revenge.
Israel later signalled it had fired in error, saying an initial inquiry showed soldiers misidentified a Hamas security agent as “an armed terrorist and fired as a result of this misunderstanding.”
On Friday night, Israel’s military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, but no damage or injuries were reported.
Earlier in the day, at least 33 Palestinians were shot and wounded during weekly demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Under a fragile cease-fire brokered by Egyptian and UN officials following a severe flare-up in May, Israel is meant to ease aspects of its blockade on the strip in exchange for relative calm.
At least 295 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since major Hamas-backed protests began along the border fence in March 2018.
Most were killed during the protests and clashes but others died in air strikes or tank fire in response to violence from the strip.
Six Israelis have been killed.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.


Palestinian shot, killed after ramming car into Israeli forces, police say

Updated 10 min 41 sec ago

Palestinian shot, killed after ramming car into Israeli forces, police say

  • The Palestinian man was taken to a nearby Israeli hospital after being shot and died of his wounds

JERUSALEM: Israeli security forces fatally shot a Palestinian driver who tried to ram his car into them at a checkpoint on Jerusalem’s outskirts on Wednesday after he raised suspicions by presenting apparently fake identification papers, police said.
The man was taken to a nearby Israeli hospital after being shot and died of his wounds, a hospital spokeswoman said.
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials.
“Suspicion arose that the documents presented by the driver were not his and he was apparently trying to impersonate someone else,” a police statement said.
“During the security check, the suspect started speeding, hitting a border policeman who was at the scene. Following this, the policeman and the security personnel fired at the vehicle,” police said in a statement.
The Israeli policeman was lightly injured, police said.
Palestinians carried out a wave of car-rammings in Jerusalem and the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016, but the frequency of such incidents has since ebbed.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014. The Palestinians want to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.