Qatar, U.N. officials to enter Gaza amid renewed border tension
The delegations are expected to monitor the construction of a power line from Israel to Gaza, as well as various other projects, as the tension between the 2 sides soared over the weekend with at least 2 mortars being fired into Israeli communities
The news comes amid renewed tension along Israel’s southern border, which began Thursday with the killing of a Hamas operative by IDF troops, who later called the incident a “misunderstanding.” In response, the militants in the Hamas-controlled enclave fired two mortar shells that exploded in Israeli communities bordering the Strip without causing injuries or damage.
The delegations are expected to monitor the progress of Line 161 construction - a power line from Israel to the Gaza Strip - meant to be funded by Qatar, as well as construction of various water infrastructure and a field hospital near the Erez Crossing at the northern end of the enclave, the sources told Ynet.
In addition, the Egyptian delegation comprised of senior officials of the General Intelligence Service, entered the Strip on Friday. They held talks with the Hamas officials and other factions in Gaza City before leaving the enclave early Saturday.
Salah al-Bardawil, a Hamas official, said talks focused on an unofficial truce that Egypt brokered between his movement and Israel and efforts to achieve reconciliation between Hamas and its Fatah rival President Mahmoud Abbas.
In the meantime, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on Saturday issued a statement, warning the faction members will not “sit idly by” if Israeli government continues to issue threats of a possible wide-scale military operation in the Strip. The terror group warned they will retaliate to any action meant to harm “Gaza’s residents and the resistance.”
On Friday afternoon, thousands of Palestinians gathered at five locations along the perimeter fence separating Gaza from Israel as part of the March of Return campaign that Hamas launched last year.
Gaza’s health ministry said 33 Palestinians were wounded by live gunshots during the weekly demonstration. Israeli military said the protesters hurled rocks and explosive devices at the security fence, prompting the troops to respond with crowd dispersal measures.
Reuters contributed to this report