Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border have dropped off over the past two days, with Israel on Wednesday pointing to what it said were Egyptian efforts to restore calm after dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Gaza’s dominant Islamist Hamas movement denied that it was under pressure from neighbouring Egypt to scale back the six-week-old demonstrations, and said they would continue, although fewer Palestinians were now gathering in protest tents.
Gaza medics said two Palestinians were shot dead during Tuesday’s demonstrations along the 51 km (32 mile) border. On Monday, 60 were killed in a far greater turnout on the day the United States relocated its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.
Pushing back against foreign censure of its army’s actions, Israel has - with Washington’s backing - accused Hamas of using civilians as cover for attacks across the frontier fence and to distract from Gaza’s internal problems. Hamas denies this.
Angered by the U.S. embassy move and the Gaza bloodshed, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and consul to Istanbul, Ankara said on Wednesday. Israel responded to its envoy’s expulsion on Tuesday by expelling Turkey’s Jerusalem consul.