Two dead and 76 injured during Gaza protests

Over 6,000 Palestinians gathered along the border. 76 people were injured, 46 of them from live ammunition, according to Palestinian Health Services.

By IDAN ZONSHINE,
September 7, 2019 12:25
1 minute read.
Palestinians protest next to the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, March 30, 201

Palestinians protest next to the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, as it is seen from its Israeli side March 30, 2019. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Two Palestinians were killed during massive protests along the Gaza border Friday evening. Reports say that the first casualty is 17-year-old Ali Sami Al-Ashqar, who was killed east of the town of Jabalya. The second has been identified as 14-year-old Khalid Al-Raba'i, a resident of the Ashati refugee camp. He was killed east of Gaza City.

Around 6,200 Palestinians gathered along the border. Some 66 people were injured in the ensuing clash with IDF forces, 46 of them from live ammunition, according to Palestinian Health Services.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Molotov cocktails were thrown towards IDF forces during the protests. Reports say that two grenades were also thrown at IDF jeeps near Khan Yunis. 

Two Palestinians breached the northern border of Gaza, but were promptly caught and arrested by the military.
 
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit released a statement in response to the violence:

"Violent demonstrations during which around 6,200 protesters assembled in several locations along the Gaza border fence. The demonstrations were of an especially violent nature, which included a large amount of IEDs, grenades and Molotov cocktails being thrown towards IDF forces along the fence," it said.

"There is noticeable damage to the border fence in several locations, and there has been a rising number of attempts to approach the border fence,"the statement continued. "IDF forces recognized suspects crossing the border all through the strip, each quickly returning to Gazan territory. Two suspects that crossed the border fence in the north of the strip were arrested by IDF forces and brought in for interrogation."

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem tweeted in response. "Violating the blood of peaceful demonstrators in the marches of return and deliberately targeting them is a crime that the occupation bears all its repercussions."

Sources in the Gaza Strip say the protest organizers, along with Hamas, have been urging restraint over the past few weeks ahead of the demonstrations, telling Palestinians not to go near the fence or blow incendiary balloons, in an attempt to lessen casualties.


Friday's events marked week 73 of the weekly demonstrations near the border. Last week, 25-year-old Palestinian Bader Adin Abu Musa was shot and killed near Khan Yunis during the protests. 


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