A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes near the border fence between Israel and the central Gaza Strip east of Bureij.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Numerous security incidents marked the weekend along the Gaza border, including clashes with Palestinian rioters, a failed rocket attack, and sniper fire on an IDF vehicle in Israel.
In the most serious incident, on Friday soldiers shot and wounded some 15 Palestinian rioters on the Gaza border fence after they ignored warnings to halt and shots fired in the air, and approached the barrier in order to damage it, the IDF said.
On Saturday, some 200 Gazans rioted near the border, rolling burning tires at the security fence. Soldiers responded with crowd dispersal means. One Palestinian rioter was injured and fled.
None of the rioters breached the border.
Earlier Saturday, a search carried out by IDF units on the northern Gaza border revealed an unexploded rocket near the fence. The IDF believes that Gazan terrorists fired the projectile on Friday, but it hit in an open area without exploding. Engineering Corps sappers blew up the rocket in a controlled explosion.
On Friday, a gunman on the central Gaza border fired on an IDF Engineering Corps vehicle, damaging its windshield.
There were no injures.
In one violent disturbance on the northern Gaza border, Palestinian reports said one man was shot dead. The IDF said soldiers aimed at the legs of rioters.
Last week, outgoing OC Southern Command Maj.- Gen. Sami Turgeman warned that Hamas is playing with fire in its attempt to exploit current unrest in east Jerusalem, and could get burnt.
Speaking at a ceremony at Southern Command headquarters in Beersheba marking the end of his tenure and the appointment of his successor, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir, Turgeman said, “The recent days have been sensitive and carry a negative potential.
“Hamas failed in curbing its impulses, and rode on the wave of the eruption in east Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. It made tactical gains, but it is playing with fire that could spread uncontrollably to the Strip.”
Israel seeks “quiet, calm, and restraint, as it has done throughout the period following last year’s 50-day conflict with Gaza,” Turgeman added.
“We do not seek an escalation. But let us not be confused. Those who test us will find forces that are alert, prepared, and filled with fighting spirit among soldiers and commanders,” he added.
The IDF has deployed two reinforcement battalions to the Gaza border in recent days to deal with disturbances along the security fence.
Nine Gazans were shot dead in border clashes earlier in the month after they approached the fence and attempted to damage or breach it.