Gaza: More Than Four Months of Deadly Violence


Gaza has since late March been the scene of massive protests and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers along the border with Israel that have cost more than 160 lives.

After the latest escalation, the third major flareup since July, Gaza militants halted fire at noon Thursday, Palestinian officials said, after targeting Israel with some 180 rockets and mortars.

At least 165 Palestinians have since been killed by the Israeli army, including a pregnant woman and her baby in the latest raids, according to Gaza medics, and one Israeli soldier has been shot dead.

Here is a recap of the violence around the Gaza Strip:

- First deadly day -Major protests begin on March 30, 2018, to demand the right to return to homes that some 700,000 Palestinians fled in 1948 when Israel was created.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, including many women and children, converge along the border barrier that separates Gaza from Israel.

Officially organised by civil society groups, "The Great March of Return" is backed by Islamist movement Hamas, which runs Israeli-blockaded Gaza.

Several groups face off with Israeli soldiers, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

Israeli snipers respond with live fire, killing 19 Palestinians.

On March 31, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises troops for "guarding the country's borders".

- Kites on fire -On April 6, thousands of Palestinians gather again near the security barrier. Nine Palestinians are killed and nearly 500 injured.

The confrontation continues over the coming days, with new deaths on the Palestinian side. 

The Palestinians employ a new tactic, sending kites across the border carrying embers or flamming rags.

- Bloodbath -On May 14, tens of thousands of Palestinians return to the barrier as the US opens its controversial embassy in Jerusalem after Washington recognised the disputed holy city as Israel's capital.

At least 62 Palestinians are killed by Israeli fire in the ensuing violence and more than 2,400 wounded.

A top Hamas official says most of those killed are its members.

On May 29, Israel's air force strikes dozens of targets in Gaza in response to a barrage of mortar and rocket fire.

The armed wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad claim joint responsibility for fire from Gaza.

- The United Nations -On June 1, Washington vetoes a draft resolution at the UN Security Council calling for the protection of Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Four more Palestinians are killed and 100 injured, including an AFP photographer at the scene, as new demonstrations turn into clashes on June 8.

On June 13, the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution, opposed by the United States, condemning Israel for the violence, rejecting an American amendment implicating Hamas.

- Biggest air strikes -On July 14, Israel unleashes its biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war, killing two Palestinians, while 200 rockets target Israel.

On July 20, four Palestinians are killed in Gaza, as Israel strikes throughout the enclave. An Israeli soldier becomes the first to be killed in and around Gaza since 2014.

Israeli strikes on July 25 kill three Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip after an Israel soldier is wounded by gunfire. Two days later, three Palestinians are killed including a 12-year-old.

An Israeli strike on August 7 kills two militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing.

Overnight August 8-9, Hamas fires some 180 rockets and mortars from Gaza, according to the Israeli army, which says its response targets 150 of the movement's military sites, leaving three Palestinians dead including a pregnant woman and her toddler.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades claims responsibility for the rocket fire.

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