Calm returns after most severe Israel-Gaza flare-up in years

Geraldine Edwards
June 3, 2018

Israel denied that it has agreed to a ceasefire with Palestinian militants in Gaza as claimed by Hamas after the worst military flare-up since a 2014 war, but calm returned Wednesday and there were signs the latest crisis may be ending.

Kuwait presented the draft two weeks ago, initially calling for an global protection mission for the Palestinians as protests turned violent on the Israeli-Gaza border. In retaliation, the Israeli army struck dozens of military facilities that belong to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the coastal enclave. "They have been a warning to all of us how close we are to the brink of war every day", Xinhua reported.

Greenblatt has, on Twitter and in interviews, and says that the U.S. believes wrestling control of Gaza from the group is critical to the success of any effort to forge a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

According to the resistance group, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump had sought to use the draft resolution to "mask the crimes of the [Israeli] occupation against the Palestinian people in Gaza".

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The IDF is preparing for the renewal of protests along the Israel-Gaza border on Friday after two relatively quiet days.

Israel said some 70 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into its southern territory.

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Regardless of any changes, the Jerusalem consulate will remain the primary USA point of contact for the Palestinian Authority and for Palestinians, including those in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip seeking visas or other US consular services.

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"We deeply appreciate Kuwait's role in foiling the USA -proposed UNSC draft resolution that would have condemned the Palestinian people's legitimate right to self-defense", Hamas said in a statement.

Hamas's Justice Ministry, which controls the forensic medicine department, said it ended its investigation and referred the file to Gaza's attorney general. Some were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome rocket interceptor system and others landed in empty lots and farmland. One exploded in the yard of a kindergarten before it was due to open.

During the clashes thousands of demonstrators burned tires, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops across the fence and, in a few cases, engaged in armed battles with the IDF.

Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side.

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But Israel has faced worldwide criticism and calls for an independent investigation over its use of live fire during the protests and border clashes.

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