Four Palestinians reportedly shot, injured during rioting on Gaza border
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Four Palestinians reportedly shot, injured during rioting on Gaza border

Hundreds take part in ‘truck march,’ IDF responds with crowd dispersal means

Illustrative: Palestinian protesters burn tires during clashes with Israeli forces across the border fence with Israel near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 19, 2019. (Said KHATIB/AFP)
Illustrative: Palestinian protesters burn tires during clashes with Israeli forces across the border fence with Israel near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 19, 2019. (Said KHATIB/AFP)

Four Palestinians were reportedly shot by the IDF Monday during rioting on border with the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said the wounded were shot in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip and suffered various degrees of injuries, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

The injured demonstrators were reportedly part of a “truck march” taking place on the border with tractor-trailers, with hundreds of Palestinians calling for Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip to be lifted.

Israel maintains the blockade is necessary to prevent arms smuggling into the Strip.

The IDF said it responded with riot dispersal means.

Over 100 Palestinians were reportedly injured during border rioting Friday. Some 6,000 people reportedly took part in the demonstrations. The army said some rioters hurled rocks and explosive devices at the border fence and that troops were responding with less-lethal means as well as live fire in several cases where suspects attempted to sabotage or break through the border.

Egyptian security officials held talks with Palestinian leaders in recent days, in part to prevent a new flareup of tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Fresh tensions were feared after Israel shot dead a Hamas field commander along the border on July 11, prompting the Islamist terror organization to vow revenge.Israel later signaled it had fired in error, saying an initial inquiry showed  the Hamas member, Mahmoud Ahmad Sabri al-Adham, had been erroneously identified by soldiers as an armed terrorist, but was apparently an operative trying to stop Palestinian youths from breaching the security fence.

A young Palestinian uses a slingshot to hurl rocks at Israeli troops during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces across the barbed-wire fence during a border demonstration near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 19, 2019. (Said Khatib/AFP)

On July 19 Israel’s military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, but no damage or injuries were reported. Uncharacteristically, the Israel Defense Forces did not respond to the attack.

Hamas, an Islamist terror group which seeks to destroy Israel, seized control of Gaza from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and has been the de facto rulers of the territory ever since.

Under the fragile ceasefire brokered by Egyptian and UN officials following a severe flareup in May, Israel is meant to ease aspects of its blockade on the coastal enclave in exchange for relative calm. Israel maintains that the blockade is necessary to prevent arms from entering Gaza that could be used in attacks against it.

Throughout the past year and a half, the two sides have fought several bouts — with terror groups firing mortar shells, rockets and missiles at Israeli cities and towns, and the IDF retaliating with airstrikes — often sparked by smaller incidents along the border. There has also been weekly border rioting during the period.

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