This past week the level of violence demonstrated at the return march was again relatively low (about 7,500 people participated in the march events). However, during the march IEDs were thrown at IDF forces, attempts were made to damage the border fence and three attempts were made to cross the security fence into Israeli territory. The Hamas-controlled internal security forces claimed that infiltrating into Israeli territory threatens Palestinian security and is dangerous to both the individual and Palestinian society.

Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said the understandings reached meant an improvement in the standard of living in the Gaza Strip. That included the full opening of the crossings, extending the fishing zone, authorizing the entrance of aid funds into the Gaza Strip and finding solutions for the problems of electricity and unemployment. He said Hamas was committed to stopping the use of “strong measures” (throwing Molotov cocktails and IEDs) and to stopping attempts to cross the border. However, he claimed no agreement had been reached regarding stopping the return marches or distancing the demonstrators from the fence during march events.

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