Israel-Hamas ‘agreement’ on reducing Gaza tensions: Report

As Palestinians prepare to mark the first anniversary of weekly protests along the border fence with Israel, a deal has been reached with Israel to reduce tension in the Gaza Strip, reports a newspaper affiliated to Hamas.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, Gaza’s fence with Israel has for the past year been the scene of mass protests and major bloodshed in which nearly 7,000 shot and wounded and more than 260 Palestinians were killed by Israeli snipers.

According to the report published in Al Jazeera, Khalil Alhaya, a Hamas official stated that “The occupation has to meet this test – to implement the positive responses we heard from the Egyptian delegation, We, the Palestinian factions and our people, are struggling to achieve our fair and legitimate demands.”

As a part of the proposed deal, Gaza protesters were to keep away from the fence on Saturday and Israeli snipers were told to hold their fire, according to AFP news agency.

A Hamas-affiliated al-Risalah newspaper reported on Friday night that an agreement between Hamas and Israel had been reached, said Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett who is reporting from Gaza.

Hundreds of protesters started arriving on Saturday morning in the area east of Gaza City near the border fence with Israel.

Hamas security officers picked up tyres and took them away and for the first time at the protests, the security officers were seen wearing military uniforms. Fawcett reported that “It looks as if they are here to enforce the deal, to make sure that no one sets these tires alight.”