Hundreds of Palestinians took part in clashes along the Gaza border Sunday night, hurling explosive devices at Israeli soldiers and attempting to breach the security fence.
No Israel Defense Forces troops were reported injured in the violent protests, while at least 10 Palestinians were said injured by Israeli fire, according to Israel Radio.
An army spokesperson said soldiers were using riot dispersal methods and live fire in accordance with IDF regulations.
Palestinians taking part in the clashes burned tires and threw grenades, improvised explosive devices, firecrackers and rocks at security forces, Channel 10 news reported, with dozens of explosives estimated to have been thrown toward Israeli troops.
The network said the rioters attempted to target Israeli troops working to prevent breaches of the border and that loud explosions were heard in parts of southern Israel near the Gaza Strip due to the hurling of explosives.
Earlier Sunday, firefighters worked to extinguish two blazes near Gaza sparked by airborne incendiary devices launched from the Palestinian enclave, a spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Services said.
The latest violence came after over 100 improvised bombs and grenades were hurled at Israeli troops during clashes Friday at the Gaza border, the military said Saturday. The army released footage of the violent demonstrations, which it said were the worst in two months, depicting attempts to breach and sabotage the security fence.
In Gaza on Saturday, funerals were held for the seven Palestinians killed in the previous day’s violence, including two teen boys.
Israeli ministers exchanged barbs over the weekend over the escalating violence on the Gaza border, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett slamming the government’s policy on Gaza, saying it was insufficiently aggressive toward the Hamas terrorist group.
In a Sunday statement, Bennett, the chairman of the Jewish Home party blamed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for the continuing violence. Liberman’s coalition Yisrael Beytenu party swiftly responded by mocking Bennett’s “hysteria” and “jealousy.”
“The current situation is a direct result of Liberman’s policies toward the Strip,” said Bennett in a statement carried by Hebrew media. “Under the cover of ‘pragmatism’ and ‘responsibility,’ Liberman has subjected the residents of the south to the whims of Hamas. It’s time to tell the truth. The Liberman-Hamas agreements have collapsed. This isn’t how you manage a defense policy; this is what a failed policy looks like.”
The protest followed the breakdown of indirect talks with Israel over a ceasefire and warnings that the terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza, was gearing up for another conflict.
Bennett promised to raise a reexamination of the government’s policy toward Gaza at the next meeting of the security cabinet, of which both he and Liberman are members.
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