Report: One killed, 170 wounded in clashes along Gaza border

A journalist was also said to have been wounded by Israeli fire.

By Anna Ahronheim
August 10, 2018 19:40
Palestinian protesters wave their national flag as they gather during a demonstration at the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on August 10, 2018. (photo credit: SAID KHATIB / AFP)

One Palestinian was killed as thousands of Gazans gathered along the Gaza border fence on Friday as violent protests continued along the border fence with Israel after over 200 rockets and mortars were launched from the Hamas run enclave.

According to Palestinian reports a paramedic was shot and killed in the chest while providing medical attention to injured rioters east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and another 110 demonstrators were wounded, including one man in critical condition after being shot in the head near Khan Younis.

A journalist was also said to have been wounded by Israeli fire.

Protesters marking the 20th week of the “Return March” demonstrations rioted along five spots along the border throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and burning tires and launching incendiary kites into Israel from the Strip, causing at least six fires.

The IDF spokesperson stated that 9000 rioters gathered along the Gaza border fence and threw stones, Molotov cocktails and other explosives.

It also reported that an attempt was made to cross the fence, but the suspect immediately backtracked back into the Gaza Strip. In response to a grenade thrown at Israeli forces, an IDF tank attacked a Hamas position in the northern Gaza Strip. No Israeli soldiers were injured.

The deadly riots came after a 12-hour lull of fighting between Israel and Hamas which saw over 200 rockets and mortars fired from the coastal enclave towards southern Israeli communities and over 150 retaliatory strikes by Israeli jets.

While a ceasefire to end the escalation of violence was said to have been agreed upon by the two sides following Egyptian and UN mediation, Hamas vowed that the Return March demonstrations would continue.

“Every time the Israeli killing machine tries to break the strength and will of our people to continue its struggle, every time it will fail,” said a spokesman for the group.

The protests along the border dubbed have been the greatest threats to Israeli security in the region since operation Protective Edge due to the combination of terror tunnels, riots, attempted infiltrations and the use of incendiary items.

At least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began, one Israeli soldier was killed by a sniper and another officer was moderately wounded after he was shot by a sniper in the Kissufim area in an ambush after troops arrived to disperse a violent demonstration by 20 Palestinian youth close to the border fence.

On Tuesday IDF troops killed two Hamas snipers after the military thought troops came under fire near Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF later acknowledged that the shooting did not target the army’s troops.

Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, the head of the army’s Southern Command, concluded the IDF strike was made in error, as the gunmen, part of Hamas’s naval commando unit, were not shooting – as the army believed in real-time – at a border fence patrol by the Rotem Battalion of the Givati infantry brigade but was part of a drill being observed by senior Hamas leaders.

Following the incident the IDF shut Route 25 and several smaller service roads near the Gaza border in light of threats made by Hamas.

“In light of Hamas statements and the evacuation of Hamas outposts, the Southern Command decided to increase readiness and to close a number of roadways in the Gaza periphery,” read the statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Despite the military significant barrage of projectiles on Wednesday and Thursday the army lifted all restrictions on Israeli residents in the south except for the closure of the roads along the Gaza border out of fear that Hamas snipers will target passing vehicles.


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