1 killed, 90 wounded by Israel in Gaza protests


Israel said its naval blockade of Gaza is meant to prevent weapons from reaching militant groups, including Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Palestinian enclave, the news agency reported.

They also demand an end to Israel's 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of basic commodities.

Israeli authorities began deporting several of the worldwide solidarity activists who were aboard the Al-Awda ship of the Freedom Flotilla, Gaza's National Committee for Breaking the Siege announced yesterday.

A number of Palestinians "infiltrated" Israel and threw firebombs and "an explosive device" before returning to Gaza, it said. Meetings began Thursday and will continue through Saturday, Hamad said.

The delegation was welcomed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and members of the group's political bureau.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday delayed a planned visit to Colombia amid speculation that a truce agreement could be reached within days.

The 'Freedom, ' a boat headed to the Gaza Strip in a flotilla defying Israel's blockade.

Return uses video footage taken by Anadolu Agency during the Great Return March protests along the Israeli-Gaza border in recent months. Power is on for just a few hours a day, unemployment has sky-rocketed and poverty is widening.

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On Friday, one Palestinian youth was killed and at least 220 others were injured during protests.

In a statement, the Israeli military said the vessel was carrying 12 people and had been taken to the port of Ashdod.

"The Ramallah government is no longer a government of consensus after the addition of Nabil Abu Rudeina", Hamas said in a statement responding to the new selection. Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds, wounding several protesters and a medic.

The 12 activists on-board the "Freedom for Gaza" boat were attempting to bring urgently needed medical supplies to Gaza, when the vessel was intercepted by the Israeli navy in global waters.

The coalition said Friday that the Swedish-flagged vessel, Freedom, was almost 60 miles (95 kilometers) off the coast. Along with 21 other global participants on board the Norwegian-flagged Al Awda (The Return), Commodore was brutally attacked and kidnapped by Israeli forces in worldwide waters, last Sunday, and unlawfully detained for four days, in Israel.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Similar attempts by activists to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza have been foiled before.