Rockets from Gaza Strip hit Israel after four killed at border protest

Gaza medical officials said four Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during demonstrations on Saturday marking the first anniversary of the "Great March of Return" protests.

Three people have been killed after violent clashes with Israeli troops - two of them teenagers.

Hamas said on Sunday that it is waiting to hear from Egyptian mediators what Israel's response is to the proposed ceasefire understandings between the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Israel says its troops have no choice because they are trying to stop militants breaching the fence and attacking civilian communities in the area.

The protesters waved Palestinian flags and held signs in support of the Palestinian right of return while chanting against the 11-year blockade of the strip.

The Israeli army has increased its presence along the border in recent days deploying several thousand troops, including dozens of snipers.

The anniversary coincides with Land Day, which commemorates the death of six Arab Israelis who were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the expropriation of land by Israel in 1976. The Israeli military reported launches of five missiles on Sunday from the Gaza Strip in the direction of Israel after air defense warning sirens sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council.

He confirmed that Egypt had made progress towards a deal that media reports said would see Israel allow more Qatari aid into the strip and ease some restrictions. United Nations investigators last week said Israeli forces might be guilty of war crimes for using excessive force.

Netanyahu said the Israeli military's massive deployment had ensured violence at the protests remained relatively low.


Palestinians gather as tear gas is fired by Israeli forces during a protest.

Fighting flared when a Palestinian rocket attack from Gaza wounded seven Israelis in a village north of Tel Aviv on Monday.

"I don't know how many years will pass before our lives improve but we should continue (protests) as long as the occupation and the blockade exist".

Hamas and the Palestinian factions in Gaza are determined to oblige Israel to commit to the understandings, he said, adding that Israel was facing a "real test". The Kingdom stated its categorical rejection of Israeli policies and practices, along with false and illegal plans, that it described as flagrant violations in defiance of worldwide law, charters, conventions and resolutions, which are preventing any chance of achieving a two-state solution.

The delegation is now in Gaza as part of a shuttle diplomacy to reach a truce deal between Gaza-based resistance factions and Israel.

As Great March of Return organiser Ahmed Abu Artema asked: "What if 200,000 demonstrators marched peacefully and broke through the fence east of Gaza and entered a few kilometres into the lands that are ours, holding the flags of Palestine and the keys to return, accompanied by worldwide media, and then set up tents inside and established a city there?"

"One of the reasons for the successful conclusion of Land Day events was the right deployment in terms of the number of forces, the extent of the event, the use of force and the deterrence", said IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis. The operation was also launched in retaliation to rocket fire.

A masked boy reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli forces.


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