10,000 Palestinians protest on Gaza border
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10,000 Palestinians protest on Gaza border

Hamas security forces preventing most demonstrators from reaching the border fence; 14 Palestinians said hurt

Palestinian protesters carry flags during clashes with Israeli forces on November 23, 2018, in the eastern outskirts of Gaza City, near the border with Israel. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
Palestinian protesters carry flags during clashes with Israeli forces on November 23, 2018, in the eastern outskirts of Gaza City, near the border with Israel. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Some 10,000 Palestinians gathered on the Gaza border on Friday for weekly protests, with Hamas security forces keeping most demonstrators away from the fence for the second consecutive week following a ceasefire with Israel.

The protests were largely peaceful, however there were still sporadic reports of violence with Palestinians throwing rocks at IDF troops. There was one incident where a group attacked the fence east of the city of Rafah.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported 14 wounded, including several by live fire.

This was the second week of limited clashes. Last Friday a Palestinian was killed and more than a dozen were injured a week after a major flareup between Israel and terror groups in the Strip.

Since March, Palestinians have been holding weekly “March of Return” protests on the border, which Israel has accused Gaza’s Hamas rulers of using to carry out attacks on troops and attempt to breach the security fence. Hamas, an Islamist terror group, seeks to destroy Israel.

Israel has demanded an end to the violent demonstrations along the border in any ceasefire agreement.

Last Friday, nearly 10,000 Palestinians participated in riots and demonstrations near the border. Most people stayed away from the border fence, although some burned tires and threw rocks and explosives at soldiers who responded with tear gas and occasional live fire.

Those clashes came days after Israel engaged in the largest battle with Hamas and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza since the 2014 war.

Some 500 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of the previous Monday and Tuesday, November 12-13, according to the Israel Defense Forces — more than twice the rate at which they were launched during the 2014 conflict.

Iron Dome intercepts a salvo of rockets fired into southern Israel on October 26, 2018 (Screenshot/twitter)

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted over 100 of them. Most of the rest landed in open fields, but dozens landed inside Israeli cities and towns, killing one person, injuring dozens and causing significant property damage.

In response, the Israeli military said it targeted approximately 160 sites in the Gaza Strip connected to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups, including four facilities that the army designated as “key strategic assets.”

The fighting ended on Tuesday, November 13, after a Hamas-announced ceasefire took effect, though this was not officially confirmed by Israel.

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