Earlier in the day hundreds of Palestinians converged on the Strip’s border fence with Israel, trying to rip through it before drawing Israeli fire in one of the most violent incidents yet in five weeks of protests.
Three people were killed and over 300 hurt in Friday’s rallies, the Gaza Strip’s Hamas-run health ministry said, as thousands of Palestinians converged on the border with Israel.
In other incidents, the military said Palestinian crowds rolled burning tires, hurled rocks and flew kites with flaming objects attached with the goal of damaging the fence and other Israeli targets. It also released a photo appearing to show a group of youths tugging at barbed wire along the fence.
Israel has repeatedly expressed concern over the possibility of a mass breach, in which Gazans would stream across with terrorists among them, wreaking havoc. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has vowed in the past that protesters would “breach the borders and pray at Al-Aqsa,” referring to the major Muslim shrine in Jerusalem.
In a statement, the Israeli military said it “thwarted” an attempted infiltration by Palestinian protesters.
It said “hundreds of rioters” tried to burn the fence and enter the Israel. It said the crowd threw explosives, firebombs and rocks, and that troops opened fire “in accordance with the rules of engagement” and halted the crowd.
In a statement, the Israeli military said it “thwarted” an attempted infiltration by Palestinian protesters