Egyptian-led peaceful rally under fire in Gaza, two killed

GAZA, June 13 (Xinhua) — A peaceful rally held in Gaza City under the call of an Egyptian mediating delegation was under fire on Wednesday afternoon, left two Palestinian civilians dead and 17 others wounded, witnesses and paramedics said.The witnesses said that the rally attended by only tens of Palestinian civilians was attacked by a group of unknown gunmen shortly after it started.    Hospital sources said that two youths aged 16 and 20 were shot dead while 17 others wounded, five of them were in critical conditions.

    According to the footage of Palestinians official television,the participants were trying to prevent masked gunmen from shooting at each other.

    However, the shooting incident eventually aborted the small rally for peace.

    The demonstration came under the call of Major General Burhan Hamad, chief of Gaza-based Egyptian security delegation, who called on Tuesday for holding the rally to protest the bloody infighting between Palestinian rival factions of Hamas and Fatah. Hamad also presented at the rally despite the awful security situation in the city.

    He told reporters that “This demonstration is to prove for the Arab countries that the Palestinian people still have hope of future independent state.”

    Representatives of other factions, such as Islamic Jihad (Holy War) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),also walked among the protesting civilians.

    The ongoing factional clashes in Palestinian territories have claimed more than 55 Palestinian lives as it enters the fourth day.

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