A group of around 30 Gazans breached the southern Gaza border fence on Tuesday afternoon and crossed a short distance into Israel. IDF units arrived on the scene rapidly, surrounded and contained the rioters, and used crowd dispersal means to push them back into Gaza.
Earlier, further north near the Erez crossing, some 300 Palestinian rioters threw rocks and rolled burning tires at the border and IDF soldiers. The army responded by firing tear gas canisters.
Gazans have been rioting repeatedly for the past several days. On Monday, a group of rioters broke through the security fence in the center of the Strip and advanced into Israel.
IDF units surrounded them, fired tear gas, and pushed them back into Gaza, an army spokeswoman said.
Also on Monday, the Southern Command shifted its policy toward containing Palestinian riots near the Gaza border fence without the use of live fire, following recent clashes that left nine Gazans dead.
A military source said that while there has been no change in the rules of engagement in cases involving the approach of rioters to the fence, commanders have told ground units to focus on deploying tear gas, to fire warning shots in the air, and to see whether this is sufficient in preventing rioters from trying to damage or breach the border fence.
“If those measures are insufficient, then the soldiers will have to fire at the legs [of rioters],” a military source said.
Investigations from the deadly clashes in the recent days have not yet been complete, and will likely only reach their conclusions after the region becomes calmer.
Continued unrest along the border carries with it the risk of an escalation with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and an increase in rocket attacks on the South, as well as retaliatory air force strikes.
Two Arab minors, aged 12 and 15, were shot dead during border clashes on Saturday, Palestinian medics said, according to Reuters, while seven were killed in similar incidents on Friday.
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