Border Police sniper shoots Palestinian gunman during latest Gaza border riots

Health authorities in Strip say assailant seriously wounded; Palestinians have been rioting on frontier for 5 days in a row

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

A Palestinian gunman opens fire at Israeli forces on the Gaza border, September 21, 2023. (Israel Police)
A Palestinian gunman opens fire at Israeli forces on the Gaza border, September 21, 2023. (Israel Police)

A Palestinian gunman who opened fire at Israeli forces during rioting on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday was shot and seriously wounded by a Border Police sniper.

In separate statements, the Border Police and the Israel Defense Forces said the armed Palestinian was spotted shooting toward Israeli forces with a handgun amid the rioting.

A Border Police sniper returned fire, hitting the suspect.

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said the Palestinian was seriously wounded.

Police published two clips showing the exchange of fire on the border.

Border Police and the IDF said no soldiers were wounded during the riots, now in their fifth day in a row. There have been several other riots in recent weeks.

The IDF has been responding to the near-daily riots with crowd dispersal means and live fire in some cases.

Palestinians have been detonating explosive devices, setting tires on fire, trying to breach the security barrier, and opening fire at troops in a handful of cases.

Palestinian rioters in the Gaza Strip are seen near the border with Israel, east of Gaza City, September 21, 2023. (Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

Israel has kept shut its sole pedestrian crossing with the Gaza Strip for the past seven days in response to rioting on the border, and it is expected to reopen only after Yom Kippur next week.

The closure of Erez Crossing affects 17,000 Gazans who have permits to enter Israel for work. The Strip’s economy is harmed by the laborers being barred entry to Israel.

Also in response to the riots, as a warning, the IDF struck an observation post belonging to the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group near the border on Friday.

The rioting in recent weeks has left at least seven Palestinians dead, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip. Six of them were killed while mishandling a makeshift bomb that was supposed to be planted on the border, while the seventh was shot by Israeli soldiers.

No IDF soldiers have been wounded in the recent riots so far.

Palestinian rioters clash with Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on September 19, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The riots, according to military assessments, come as Hamas seeks to resolve a dispute it has with Qatar over monthly funding the Gulf nation provides to the Palestinian enclave.

Hamas has reportedly asked Qatar to increase the monthly sum to adjust for inflation, but it so far has not agreed to the demand. The terror group apparently launched the riots on the Gaza border to pressure Israel, which would in turn pressure Qatar to solve the issue.

Gaza has been blockaded by both Israel and Egypt for over 15 years in an attempt to contain the enclave’s Hamas rulers. Israel says the tight restrictions on goods and people are necessary due to the terror group’s efforts to massively arm itself for attacks against the Jewish state.

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