Gaza protests driven by desperation, Hamas organization

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Gaza's border protests are driven by desperation among the territory's 2 million people after a decade-old border blockade, as well as the organizational powers of the ruling Hamas group.

For the Islamic militants, the planned mass protests in coming weeks are perhaps a last chance to try and break the blockade. Israel accuses Hamas of cynically exploiting Gaza's civilians.

Palestinian activists chanted "death is better than humiliation" as three-wheelers stacked with old tires drove into a tent camp in a barley field near Gaza's border.

The tires are to be burned at a mass protest on Friday, in hopes clouds of black smoke will shield demonstrators from Israeli snipers.