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Bomb Blasts Slam Gaza in Early Hours

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Published: May 16, 2018 

At least five bomb blasts hit Gaza early Thursday morning local time. One person is believed to have been injured.

VOA heard the blasts and a few ambulances racing down the streets in the minutes following.

Locals said they believed the targets were all Hamas facilities.

This comes after mass demonstrations this week along the Gaza border with Israel that left more than 60 people dead and more than 2,700 injured. On Wednesday, a Hamas official said in an interview that 50 of the dead were Hamas members. The other 12 dead were civilians, he said. Among the dead were women, children, and an 8-month-old girl.

The protests were a culmination of the more than monthlong "March of Return" demonstrations that escalated on Monday as the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem. Protesters on Monday charged fences separating Gaza from Israel, tearing down sections of the wire barrier and throwing rocks.

Israeli forces fired into the crowds, and tear gas was lobbed over the border and rained down from drones overhead. As the Islamic holy month Ramadan begins Thursday, demonstrators say they may continue to rally.

The United Nation’s top human rights body will hold a special session to discuss “the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The meeting came as the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the world's permanent war crimes court, on Wednesday expressed “grave concern” about escalating violence in Gaza and said alleged crimes could be investigated.

“Any new alleged crime committed in the context of the situation in Palestine may be subjected to the office’s legal scrutiny,” a statement said. “This applies to the events of 14 May 2018 and to any future incident

 

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