Tear gas canisters are fired by Israeli troops toward Palestinians during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip February 22, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
A Palestinian teenager was killed and dozens were injured during violent protests along the Gaza security fence on Friday.
Identified by the Gaza Health Ministry as 15-year-old Yousef Saeed Dayeh, he was reported to have been shot in the chest by IDF fire while taking part in clashes. Another 41 Palestinians were injured, three of them seriously, by live bullets or rubber-coated rounds fired by IDF troops.
According to the IDF, some 8,000 Palestinians gathered at several points along the fence, hurling stones, explosives devices and grenades at troops stationed at the border. Demonstrators also burned tires and launched incendiary balloons toward several locations.
IDF troops responded with riot-control means.
Thousands of Gazans have been protesting along the security fence on a weekly basis, taking part in the March of Return demonstrations which began on March 30, calling for an end of the 12-year-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
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.
Last month, a report by Doctors Without Borders found that a total of 6,174 Palestinians have been injured by live bullets fired by IDF troops over the past 10 months since the beginning of the riots.
According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, 254 Palestinians have been killed during the protests.
The IDF military intelligence assessment for 2019 has warned that a continued deterioration of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure will continue to put pressure on Hamas, which could lead to another violent clash with Israel, despite both sides not being interested in another war.
Tensions with Gaza have significantly risen, with months of violent weekly protests along the border fence continuing. The riots have seen the launching of incendiary aerial devices, such as kites and balloons, as well as the throwing of explosive devices and sniping at IDF troops.
Palestinian “night confusion units” also resumed along the fence earlier this month after several months of quiet, with rioters setting fires, hurling explosive devices, shining lasers at troops across the border to blind them, as well as rioters attempting to infiltrate into Israel.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed and several wounded since the riots began. Of the two killed, one was by a Palestinian sniper and another during a botched special forces operation inside Gaza.
Several other soldiers have been wounded, including Yoadd Zaguri, who was hospitalized for shrapnel wounds to his neck. Zaguri is an infantryman in the Nahal Brigade originally from Los Angeles.
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