Palestinians demonstrators shout during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border east of Gaza City, April 6, 2018. .
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
One Palestinian was killed and hundreds more injured during the weekly Great March of Return protests along the Gaza border fence on Friday, which also saw one IDF soldier lightly wounded from shrapnel.
The fatality was identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Karim Mohammad Kullab, 25. The ministry said that of the 312 wounded, 54 were injured by live bullets, including four rioters who were said to be in critical condition.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, more than 10,000 protesters took part in violent demonstrations along the border fence
, throwing explosive devices, grenades and stones at IDF troops, and burning tires. A number of attempts to cross the border fence also occurred throughout the riots.
One IDF soldier was lightly wounded from shrapnel, and was evacuated to the hospital to receive medical attention.
The IDF responded to the violence and attempted sabotage of the fence with crowd dispersal techniques in accordance with open-fire regulations. IAF jet fighters also struck several targets in the northern Strip.
Following several improvised devices planted along the fence in recent weeks, the military has warned of an increased use in such devices as well as the use of grenades and possibly live fire against troops.
On Friday the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, urged the residents of the Hamas-run enclave to stop cooperating with Hamas, threatening to reduce the fishing zone from nine miles back to three if the “daily terror attacks continue.”
Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for international negotiations, also took to Twitter Friday writing “Sadly Hamas continues to choose violence over building a better future for Palestinians.”
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More than 180 Palestinians have been killed and thousands others injured since the outbreak of the Gaza border protests which began on March 30 and which call for an end of Israel’s 12-year-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday a Palestinian teenager succumbed to wounds he sustained during a demonstration along the border fence on Wednesday near Rafah in the southern Strip.
According to the spokesperson for the Palestinian Health Ministry Ashraf al-Qidra, 15 year-old Mo’men Abu Ayadeh was shot in the head by an IDF sniper.
His father, Ibrahim Abu Ayadeh, was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that his son along with several of his friends were members a youth-led unit called Irbak al-Leili, or “nocturnal disturbances.”
The members of the unit have been protesting near the fence from early evening until midnight for the past week, pointing lasers at IDF snipers as well as blasting songs and other loud messages aimed at Israeli civilians living in the Gaza vicinity. The unit has also launched incendiary balloons towards southern Israel.
According to the IDF, during the protests some 20 Palestinians infiltrated into Israeli territory from the southern Gaza Strip, spray painting an IDF outpost and leaving incendiary devices near the border fence before crossing back into the Hamas-run enclave.
On Thursday, an IAF aircraft also struck a cell of Palestinians that was launching incendiary balloons into Israeli territory from in the northern Gaza.
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