Around 12,000 Palestinians participated in weekly demonstrations along the Gaza Strip border with Israel Friday evening. The army said rioters burned tires and hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers, who responded according to open-fire regulations.
FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: Palestinians have been rioting on the Gaza Strip border with Israel nearly every Friday since March, and today was no different. IDF soldiers responded to the multiple arson attacks with live-fire, with 3 Palestinians dying and 30 others injured in the process.
In several incidents grenades and bombs were hurled at the troops. Shrapnel from one pipe bomb lightly injured an IDF officer who was treated at the scene. In response the military said an aircraft and a tank struck two Hamas posts.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said three people were killed by IDF fire during the rallies, including a 14-year-old teenager shot east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza. The second man was said to have been shot in the Khan Younis area in central Gaza, and the third was hit east of Bureij in central Gaza. The ministry said at least 30 people were injured, of which 11 were hit by live fire.
Two fires also broke out in Israeli communities near the border due to incendiary balloons. Firefighters managed to gain control of the blazes.
Earlier in the day the Israeli military found and destroyed an improvised explosive device along the southern Gaza border, the second such case in two days. In addition, a cluster of balloons carrying an unlit explosive detonator, which was apparently launched from Gaza, landed in a playground in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat.
A surge of violence in Gaza began in March with a series of protests along the border that were dubbed the “March of Return.” The clashes, which Israel says are being orchestrated by Gaza’s Hamas rulers, have included regular rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as shooting and IED attacks aimed at IDF soldiers and attempts to breach the border fence.
The army said the improvised explosive device had been hidden underneath a pile of dirt next to the security fence, east of Khan Younis. It had a receiver attached to it, allowing the device to be set off remotely, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The device was detonated by IDF troops in a controlled blast, the army said. READ MORE