Palestinians Go On Strike As Violence Continues In Gaza
On Tuesday, Palestinians in Israel and other occupied territories went on strike as a collective protest against the ongoing violence in the region and what they say are oppressive Israeli policies. It is estimated that 90% of businesses in Arab neighborhoods shuttered their doors Tuesday.
Several of the protests turned violent and multiple clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli troops broke out. At least 3 protesters died and 140 were wounded, the Israeli army said two soldiers were wounded by gunfire as well.
The Gaza Strip continues to be under heavy artillery fire as Hamas militants and Israeli forces exchange multiple rocket attacks and airstrikes. Dozens of people living in Gaza have fled their homes as the region is seeing the worst violence since the 2014 war.
The United Nations and Egyptian officials say cease-fire negotiations are underway but that little progress has been made. Egyptian officials are hoping that international pressure from Israeli allies, such as the US, will convince Israel to come to the table for negotiations. Many are concerned that the continued escalation of violence will lead to war.
The death toll continues to climb for both countries as well. According to the Israeli military, Hamas has fired more than 3,400 rocket attacks since last Monday and Israel has retaliated with hundreds of airstrikes, including targeting several high rise buildings they say housed Hamas intelligence offices. Israel warned civilians to evacuate the buildings before destroying them.
The violence began a month ago when Israeli police forces were criticized for using heavy-handed tactics and dozens of Palestinian families were threatened with eviction. This resulted in multiple protests and clashes including a major confrontation Monday between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites.
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