The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Protesters clash with Israeli troops near border


GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP>> Hundreds of Hamasbacke­d activists on Saturday launched what they said was the first in a series of nighttime protests along the Israeli border, throwing explosives toward Israeli forces who responded with live fire.

Organizers said the gatherings, which are to continue throughout the week, were meant to step up pressure on Israel to ease a crippling economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.

“The occupation will not enjoy calm unless the siege on our beloved land is lifted,” said Abu Omar, a spokesman for the protesters.

Israel and Egypt have maintained the blockade since Hamas, a group sworn to Israel’s destructio­n, seized control of Gaza in 2007, a year after it won Palestinia­n elections.

The blockade, which restricts the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza, has ravaged the territory’s economy. Israel has tightened the closure since a war in May.

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