By Mustafa Haboush
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday anti-occupation protests along border of the Gaza Strip will not stop until Israel’s 12-year blockade is lifted.
“The Return Marches will not accept partial solutions,” Haniyeh said in statements following the funeral prayer for a Palestinian youth killed by Israeli army fire near Gaza border on Friday.
“The rallies will accept nothing but a complete lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip,” he said.
At least seven Palestinians were martyred and scores injured by Israeli army fire on Friday during protests against the crippling siege imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.
The death toll brought to more than 200 Palestinians martyred and thousands more injured by the Israeli army since the protests began in late March.
“Gaza is fighting to undermine the so-called 'deal of the century'," he said, referring to a backchannel U.S. plan to reach a peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israel.
Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.