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US holds Hamas responsible for Gaza unrest, Israeli official says

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WASHINGTON — As Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops on the Gaza Strip border, an Israeli official said on Wednesday that the Biden administration understands Hamas is responsible for the unrest.

The United States is sending messages to Hamas through all the relevant channels, demanding the terror organization cease its provocations, according to an Israeli official.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is in Washington on his first official visit as premier.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported on Wednesday that 14 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli troops along the border, including five from live fire. The ministry said that another two people were wounded by rubber bullets and seven were hurt after inhaling tear gas.

Hamas deployed its so-called restraining force in an apparent effort to keep a lid on protests along the border, with Palestinians in reflective vests deployed to the area.

The military was nevertheless preparing for the possibility that the group will fire rockets toward Israel during Bennett’s visit, according to Channel 12 news.

Meanwhile, a diplomatic source told The Times of Israel Wednesday that Egypt has conveyed stern warnings in recent days to both Israel and Hamas to maintain calm at the Gaza border.

The source believes that the sides internalized the message and that there will not be a significant escalation during Bennett’s ongoing trip in Washington, pointing to Hamas’s deployment of its restraining force to keep demonstrators........

© The Times of Israel

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