“March of Return” near Gaza border with Israel postponed for the third week

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Palestinian Higher Committee for the March of Return in the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday announced the postponement of its protests scheduled for Friday for the third consecutive week due to “very serious” security conditions following Israeli threats to launch an operation in the Gaza Strip.

The commission said in a statement received by AFP that it “decided to postpone the marches of return on Friday in order to miss the opportunity on the Zionist enemy.”

The statement added that the postponement came “in light of the very serious security conditions and in the light of the threats of the criminal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to commit folly by launching a new comprehensive aggression on the Gaza Strip to protect himself from prosecution on charges of corruption.”

On Thursday, Israeli prosecutors charged the outgoing prime minister with corruption, fraud and dishonesty.

The Palestinian High Commission stressed that its decision “is not linked to any understandings,” stressing that “the marches of return are continuing and continued peaceful popular nature.

The rallies were canceled three weeks ago because of the military confrontation in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Islamic Jihad after the killing of Baha Abu al-Atta, the most senior military commander of the Islamic Jihad in an Israeli air strike on his home in Gaza.

A member of one of the Palestinian factions, who asked not to be named, said, “Islamic Jihad has informed Hamas that it will retaliate if the occupation soldiers target the marches of return and will not stand idly by.”

“The decision to postpone the missed opportunity for the occupation, which seeks to export its internal crisis with aggression on Gaza,” he added, citing Ziad al-Nakhla, the Islamic Jihad’s secretary general, who vowed earlier to “react immediately to any aggression.”

The March of Returns began in March 2018. Since then, some 346 Palestinians have been killed, mostly during these border protests.

The joint chamber, which includes the factions’ military wings, backed the decision to postpone “to miss the opportunity of occupation by launching a new aggression on Gaza and creating sedition between Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”

Participants in the marches demand the lifting of the Israeli siege on the Strip, which has been going on for more than a decade, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to the lands from which they had been displaced since 1948.

Israel and Palestinian factions have fought three wars since 2008.

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