Thousands of Palestinians Protest at Gaza Fence, 14 Reportedly Wounded by Live Fire

Israel delaying transfer of Qatari funds to Gaza, while Hamas says violence will escalate if money isn't allowed in

Palestinian demonstrators react from tear gas fired by Israeli troops as they gather at the Israel-Gaza border fence during a protest, in the southern Gaza Strip on January 18, 2019.
REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Fourteen Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire on Friday, Palestinian media outlets reported, as thousands of Palestinians protested for yet another week at the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of young protesters burned tires near the fence in the Khan Yunis area.

Israel has meanwhile continued to delay the transfer of funds from Qatar to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and will decide on the matter based on the nature of Friday's protests. The leadership of Hamas has said that a violent escalation would occur if the funds are not provided. 

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Foreign diplomats have told Haaretz they are concerned that the ongoing delay in transiting the money could lead to another escalation between Israel and Gaza. At the same time, Israel has recently signaled that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks a calm front ahead of the April 9 election.

According to understandings reached with Hamas at the time, the money transfers are supposed to continue right up to the election. According to several diplomats, Netanyahu may be mulling walking back these understandings given the political price of photographs depicting suitcases of money arriving in Gaza.