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Hamas curbed Gaza protests

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GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border have dropped off over the past two days, amid reports that Egyptian officials intervened to restore calm after dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire. Gaza’s dominant Islamist Hamas movement denied it was under pressure from neighbouring Egypt to scale back the six-week-old demonstrations, and said they would continue, although fewer Palestinians were now gathering in protest tents. Gaza medics said two Palestinians were shot dead during Tuesday’s demonstrations along the 51 km (32 mile) border. On Monday, 60 were killed in a far greater turnout on the day that the US relocated its Israel embassy to Jerusalem. The bloodiest day for Palestinians in years has created a diplomatic crisis. The Palestinian Authority, which says Washington has abandoned its role as neutral arbiter in the 70-year-old conflict, withdrew its envoy from Washington. Turkey and Israel expelled each other’s ambassadors.

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