New violence flashed along the Gaza border today, with one dead and as many as 25 injured. Hamas claims that Israel opened fire on “farmers,” while the IDF reported that demonstrations on the border turned into attempts to breach it and enter Israel, despite at least one warning shot. So far, though, neither side seems ready to break the cease-fire agreement on its second day:
The New York Post notes that the Gaza government would like to consolidate its gains from the cease-fire rather than provoke another round of war:
Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded 19 people as crowds surged toward Gaza’s border fence with Israel on Friday, a health official said, the first violence since a truce between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers took hold a day before.
The shooting did not appear to pose an immediate threat to the Egypt-brokered cease fire, which called for an end to Gaza rocket fire on Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. The truce came after eight days of cross-border fighting, the bloodiest between Israel and Hamas in four years.
The Gaza prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, has urged militant factions to respect the cease-fire. It appeared unlikely Hamas would retaliate for the Friday’s shooting because that could jeopardize the militant group’s potential gains from the cease-fire deal, such as an easing of restrictions on movement in and out of the Palestinian territory.
Both sides have apparently filed reports with Egypt, the guarantor of the cease-fire. We’ll see soon if this prompts an escalation of violence, or if Egypt can settle things down again. The description of the cease-fire as “tenuous” is a masterpiece of understatement.