A Palestinian woman shouts slogans during a March of Return protest at the border fence between Israel and Gaza, east of Gaza City August 31, 2018. .
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
A Palestinian taking part in the violent “March of Return” protests along the northern Gaza border fence was shot dead by IDF fire Sunday evening, Gaza health officials said.
Identified as 21-year-old Imad Daoud Ishtwai, he was reported to have been shot in the head. Another 20 Palestinians were said to have been wounded during the protests, including one who was reported in critical condition.
According to the IDF, troops responded with riot dispersal means according to rules of engagement, as more than 1,000 Palestinians who were taking part in the nighttime demonstration were throwing burning tires, rocks and explosive devices at troops.
In addition, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that an Israel Air Force aircraft struck a cell of Palestinians launching incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
Nine fires broke out in the Gaza border vicinity earlier on Sunday as a result of the incendiary aerial devices, including one near Nahal Gerar in the Negev, which caused close to 30 hectares of land to go up in flames.
On Sunday, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the negotiations mediated by Egypt to reach a long-term cease-fire agreement with Israel have stalled due to the Palestinian Authority, and vowed to step up the violent protests along the border.
A youth-led unit called Irbak al-Leili, or “nocturnal disturbances,” has 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 toward southern Israel.
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 the 12-year-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
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