Palestinian travellers gathered at Gaza’s border crossing hoping for a brief chance to leave after Egypt temporarily opened a frontier it largely keeps closed.
Three months on, discount stickers still adorn goods from clothes to cars but few of the two million people in the enclave blockaded by Israel are buying.
Most of the casualties were on the Gaza Strip border, where thousands of Palestinians gathered to hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers beyond the fortified fence.
The move marked the most concrete implementation of the October 11 reconciliation deal that Palestinians hope will ease economic restrictions on Gaza and enable more fruitful negotiations on their goal of setting up an independent state.
Last month, Hamas agreed to cede powers in Gaza to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-backed government in a deal mediated by Egypt.
Gaza gets less than four hours of electricity a day, because the Palestinian President refuses to foot its electricity bill in a bid to flush out Hamas.
The move came after Israel refused to cover the shortfall in payment by the Palestinian Authority which refused to pay for Hamas controlled enclaves.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a critic of Israel, said the policy document announced by the Islamist Palestinian group last week did not contradict its founding charter.
Haniyeh will replace Khaled Meshaal just as Hamas appeared to have softened its stance toward Israel in a new policy document released last week.
The simple explanation is that Gaza requires 450-500 MegaWatts of power a day but is receiving barely a third of that.