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One Dead Amid Violence in 3rd Week of Protests at Gaza-Israel Fence

Amjad Abu Jamous, 26, said that should he manage to get past the main fence, he hoped to face down an Israeli soldier with his arms outstretched and fingers in the “victory” sign. He said he would be armed with wire cutters and rope.

“When I raise the victory fingers, the Israeli soldier will know that I have nothing in my hands,” he said. “If he is a man, he won’t shoot. But I don’t trust him, as he is my enemy.”

Merely crossing the fence, he said, would “terrify” the Israelis.

“It’s a peaceful protest — we have no weapons,” he said. “I want to show the Jews that we can enter our lands without weapons, only with a slingshot and stones.”

But, he added: “If I had weapons, I would kill and abduct soldiers.”

Like others at the Khan Younis protest, Mr. Abu Jamous said he wanted to reclaim Israeli land, in Jaffa and Beersheba, that his father and grandfather vacated decades ago as refugees. “The Israelis are sitting in our lands, not their own lands,” he said.

Mr. Abu Jamous said he had reached the main fence earlier in the week with another man, who was shot in the leg, forcing them both to retreat.

“When people see me crossing the fence, they will run and follow me,” he said.

That is precisely what Israel’s military fears — and its justification for using deadly force.

In Shejaiya, the energy seen earlier in the crowd dissipated by late afternoon. Hundreds seemed more interested in the beating of a cellphone thief than the fence action.

Before sunset, streams of people left as if to beat the traffic. Just after 7 p.m., a barrage of 20 tear-gas grenades seemed to conclude the proceedings, sending most of those remaining near the fence into retreat.

Twenty minutes later, even the ambulances on standby were driving away — this time, empty.

Source: NYT > World

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