Palestinian protesters take part in a night demonstration near the fence along the border with Israel, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 19, 2019.
(photo credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/NURPHOTO VIA AFP)
The IDF struck two Hamas posts in the Gaza Strip in response to the numerous incendiary and explosive aerial devices flown into southern Israel on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday Israeli citizen was lightly injured after an incendiary aerial device flown from the Gaza Strip landed in his field.
According to authorities the farmer sustained injuries to his hand after a balloon carrying a Molotov cocktail fell in his field outside Kibbutz Be’eri the Eshkol Regional Council.
Several hours earlier an explosive device carried by a cluster of balloons launched from the Hamas-run coastal enclave was found in a field in southern Israel on Sunday, the morning after violent protests along the security fence.
The device, which landed in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council in southern Israel, was removed by police sappers and caused no damage or injuries.
The explosive device was flown into Israel the morning after violent riots along the security fence with Gaza and hours after the Israel Air Force struck two Hamas positions in the southern Gaza strip in response to “the multitude of explosive devices that were thrown and exploded during the night” by rioters.
One of the devices triggered incoming rocket alert sirens in the community of Kissufim in the Eshkol Regional Council. The device fell inside Gaza, according to a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
According to local Palestinian media reports, hundreds of Gazans took part in the riots on Saturday night in five main locations along the border setting fire to tires, fired sound crackers and pointing lasers towards IDF troops deployed along the fences.
A 24-year-old Palestinian identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza as Habib al-Masri succumbed to wounds on Sunday that he sustained during the riots.
Al-Masri was shot in the chest by live fire during the night confusion riots east of Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, according to the health ministry.
Six other people were injured during the protest, while another three were injured earlier in the day after an Israeli aircraft carried out a pair of strikes toward Palestinian cells launching explosive aerial devices. The devices were launched from the El-Bureij refugee camp toward southern Israeli communities.
On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered essential medicines, medical consumables and equipment contributed by the European Union to the Gaza Strip. The supplies will be used to enhance 10 trauma stabilization points run by the Palestinian Health Ministry and the Palestinian Red Crescent which provide care to Palestinians injured during the border riots.
The medical aid provided by WHO “is sufficient to cover needs of about 120,000 mildly injured or 20,000 severely injured patients,” according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Thousands of Gazans have been protesting along the security fence on a weekly basis taking part in March of Return demonstrations which began on March 30, 2018, calling for an end of the 12-year-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Over the past year of riots, the timing and frequency of the clashes has changed, with Hamas increasing their frequency with large-scale riots occurring during the week as well at night. The nighttime riots include different tactics, focusing more on psychological warfare against civilians in nearby communities with loud explosives and the use of megaphones to project death threats in Hebrew.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, more than 240 Palestinians have been killed and more than 22,000 others injured since the beginning of the March of Return began, according to Israeli NGO B’Tselem. The NGO also reported that 190 demonstrators have been killed during the protests – 65% of all Palestinians killed by the IDF in 2018.
Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders said in February that a total of 6,174 Palestinians have been injured by bullets fired by IDF troops during the riots, with nearly 90% of those injured by Israeli fire suffering injuries to their lower limbs.
The Palestinian Health Ministry in the blockaded coastal enclave has warned numerous times that health facilities and services will soon be forced to cease operation due to a severe fuel crisis.
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