Funeral procession for the three Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in Gaza. (Photo: Middle East Monitor)
Three Palestinian men were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza on August 18. The men were identified as Mahmoud Adel al Walaidah (24), Mohammad Samir al-Taramsi (26) and Mohammad Farid Abu Namous (27). In a similar attack last week, Israeli forces had killed four Palestinians.
Israel has alleged that the three men killed on Sunday were responsible for firing rockets into Israeli territory on August 17. The rockets were reportedly fired in response to Israeli raids. However, they were intercepted and did not harm any Israeli citizen or property.
Anger has soared among Palestinians following Israel’s refusal to honor its commitment to lift the decade-long blockade of Gaza. Recent reckless attempts undertaken by Palestinians to register their protest against the Israeli occupation, may be attributed to Israel’s failure to implement an agreement it had signed with the Hamas this year, in May. As per the agreement Israel was expected to take steps to ease the crippling effects of the 14-year-old blockade of Gaza.
Hope generated by the agreement had led to a reduction in the intensity of the weekly ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations, being carried out since March 2018, to demand the Palestinians’ right to return. However, developments over the last couple of weeks have made it clear that any hope of a complete lifting of the siege on Gaza is misplaced. Israel has taken no steps to implement the deal it signed after mediation by the UN and Egypt.
On the contrary, in recent weeks, Israel has moved to grant permission for more than 6,000 new settlement units to be built inside the occupied West Bank. Palestinian houses have been demolished in Jerusalem. Along with such fresh provocations, there has been a consistent rise of the right wing within Israel, harboring the agenda of capturing religious sites inside Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa compound.
On Eid last week when thousands of Palestinians were gathered to offer prayer at the Al-Aqsa compound, the Israeli military fired teargas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to clear them, in a clear violation of their right to worship at the compound. The military action injured 62 Palestinians. There is a growing fear among Palestinians that Israel is trying to change the nature of Al-Aqsa. There has been an increased mobilization of Israeli ultra-right forces that lay claim the on mosque as Jewish.