Mass Palestinian protests expected on Israel’s 70th anniversary

Mass Palestinian protests expected on Israel’s 70th anniversary

Widespread Palestinian protests, mainly in Gaza, are expected today as Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding. This latest

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Photo: Reuters/Osman Orsal

Widespread Palestinian protests, mainly in Gaza, are expected today as Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding.

This latest wave of both violent and nonviolent protests began on March 30 and is expected to run until May 15. According to the UN, some 33 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since and injuries have exceeded 4,000. No Israeli casualties have been reported.

Israeli authorities claim Hamas organised the protests. The government has stated as a matter of principle they would not allow people who participated to exit Gaza in order to receive medical treatment.

With the Arab world divided over Qatar, the US Trump administration’s Jerusalem recognition and Netanyahu’s government refusing to negotiate with the Palestinian people, protestors in Gaza find themselves in a grim situation. Gaza itself faces a continued Israeli blockade, internal divide, funding shortages and a chronic energy crisis. With these geopolitical developments and conditions, many Palestinians continue to turn to acts of extremism in desperation.

Channelling this desperation brought to the forefront by the Israeli holiday, expect protests today to culminate in a greater degree of violent clashes between Israeli authorities and protestors than seen since the protests began.