More than 100،000 pray peacefully at al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem for second Friday of Ramadan; Hamas believed trying to calm situation، the Times of Israel said. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. In Gaza، protest organizers said a large demonstration had already been held on Wednesday to mark Nakba Day، which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians from their homes following the creation of the State of Israel on May 15، 1948. “Today there are no activities in the ‘return camps’ in the east of the Gaza Strip، due to the high temperature and to provide a break to citizens، who held a large protest two days ago،” the organizing committee said in a statement.
Retired defense official Amos Gilad told Army Radio that the Hamas terror group made the decision so the situation would remain calm while the Eurovision song contest takes place in Tel Aviv. Police said that security preparations were completed in Jerusalem for prayers on the second Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. Tens of thousands were expected to attend prayers in the city.
On Wednesday، Palestinians marked Nakba Day، which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the State of Israel.
Some 10،000 Palestinians demonstrated along the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip، with rioters burning tires، throwing rocks، setting off explosives and sending balloon-borne incendiary devices into southern Israel، starting at least nine fires.
Israel responded with various riot-dispersal measures. According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry، some 65 Palestinians were wounded to varying degrees along the border throughout the day، one of them seriously.
Recent weeks have seen skyrocketing tensions in the Gaza Strip، following a massive two-day flare-up earlier this month between Israel and terror groups in the coastal enclave، in which terrorists fired nearly 700 rockets، mortar shells and anti-tank guided missiles at southern and central Israel، killing four people.
The military struck back، hitting over 300 targets linked with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups، including several rocket-launching teams. Twenty-five Palestinians were killed in the fighting، most of them members of terror groups.
Egypt، the United Nations and Qatar recently brokered ceasefire understandings between Israel and the Hamas terror group، which Hebrew media reports have said include an end to violence emanating from Gaza in exchange for Israel easing some of its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the Strip.
The Israeli military on Thursday denied Palestinian reports that it had reduced the fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip، after extending it last week، as part of the unofficial ceasefire agreement.