Gaza violence is latest salvo in war of narratives

JERUSALEM — Thousands of Palestinians took part in a mass protest along Gaza’s volatile border with Israel, the second large-scale demonstration in what is expected to be a steady turnout over the coming weeks.

More than 30 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded by Israeli fire in mass protests on Friday and the previous week.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers, who are orchestrating the demonstrations, say the protests are against a decade-old border blockade by Israel. But Israel accuses the Islamic militant group of using the protests as cover for trying to infiltrate the border and attack Israelis. It has warned that anyone approaching the border fence is risking their lives.

Here’s a closer look at how the sides reached this point:


Israel captured Gaza, a thin strip of land along the Mediterranean coast, from Egypt in the 1967 Mideast war and occupied the area for nearly four decades before withdrawing all troops and settlements in 2005. Hamas, a militant group sworn to Israel’s destruction, won legislative elections the following year and in 2007 seized control of Gaza from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza in an attempt to weaken the group. Since then, Israel and Hamas have fought three wars, while attempts at internal Palestinian reconciliation have repeatedly failed,

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