Palestine: The Third Uprising Declared
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Hamas leader in Gaza declares intifada as deadly attacks continue
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Ismail Haniyeh says Gaza is ‘more than ready for confrontation’, as six Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops at border fence
Hamas’s leader in Gaza has declared the current unrest in Jerusalem and the West Bank an intifada, as six Palestinians were shot dead protesting at the border fence, further raising the stakes after a week of escalating violence.
The comments by Ismail Haniyeh contradicted recent remarks by Fatah’s leadership, including the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. There has been increasingly widespread use of the hashtag #intifada on Palestinian social media.
In a sermon for Friday prayers at a mosque in Gaza City, Haniyeh said: “We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada. It is the only path that will lead to liberation. Gaza will fulfil its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation.”
Six dead as violence continues in Israel and Palestinian territories - live updates
Follow live updates as Israel deploys thousands of police officers in a bid to prevent attacks as thousands of Palestinians enter Jerusalem’s old city to pray
Israeli troops fired across the border into Gaza, killing six and wounding 23 others among a group throwing stones and taking part in a rally, hospital officials in Gaza said.
The rally had been called in support of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and followed a spate of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis and reprisals by Jews against Arabs.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said around 200 Palestinians massed at the border fence in northern Gaza, throwing rocks and rolling burning tyres toward troops stationed on the other side.
In the southern Israeli city of Dimona, a Jewish attacker stabbed two Palestinians and two Arab Israelis and later told police: “All Arabs are terrorists.”
A Palestinian stabbed a policeman near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, and was shot dead by the policeman, who was lightly wounded. A 16-year-old Israeli was lightly wounded in a stabbing in Jerusalem and an 18-year-old Palestinian suspect was arrested.
A woman was shot after a stabbing attempt in the northern Israeli town of Afula. Video of the incident at a bus station showed the woman surrounded by police and security guards, apparently raising her hands before being shot multiple times.
Another camp protesting at Binyamin Netanyahu handling of the crisis has been established by supporters of the settlement movement outside the prime minister’s home in Jerusalem’s Balfour Street. There have been visits by rightwing members of Netanyahu’s own cabinet including the education minister, Naftali Bennett.
Among those visiting the camp on Thursday evening was Eitan Schulman, 34, and his family, who had travelled from the settlement of Eli, in the central West Bank. Schulman said: “We feel strongly that the government is not acting strongly enough. We voted for a rightwing government but we are not getting rightwing policies.”
He added: “We should build, build, build in response to each attack. Jews are too accustomed to being merciful with our enemies. We have to know how to fight hard.”
Bennet, visiting the protest tents, told supporters that Palestinians had “been trying to K**L jews for 120 years” but that Jews would keep building and continue to live there.
A few days earlier, a senior Fatah official, Issa Qaraka, said: “I don’t like to put big names or slogans like intifada. All I can say is that what is happening right now is a popular rage. In order to bring this under control [the Israelis] need to control the settlers. We cannot control people on our side if they fail to control their side.”