Gazan dies of wounds from Saturday border clashes; Hamas says he was a member

Health officials identify deceased as Osama Adaeej, 32; terror group says he is an operative in its armed wing

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces during a riot on the Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on August 21, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Palestinians clash with Israeli forces during a riot on the Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on August 21, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

A Palestinian who was critically wounded during clashes with Israeli forces along the Gaza border on Saturday died Wednesday morning, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry announced.

According to Gaza health officials, the deceased was Osama Khalid Adaeej, 32, a resident of Jabaliya Refugee Camp in the northern Gaza Strip. It was not clear how and where Adaeej was wounded during last Saturday’s clashes.

The Israeli military did not comment on Adaeej’s death.

Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, claimed Adaeej as a member in a statement published on its Telegram channel. Adaeej’s body, wrapped in a Hamas flag, was borne through Jabaliya on Wednesday morning, surrounded by armed Palestinians wearing military fatigues.

Palestinian factions in Gaza — including the enclave’s Hamas rulers — held a protest Saturday near the Israeli border in which thousands participated. Senior officials in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups attended, including Hamas’s deputy Gaza chief Khalil al-Hayya.

Hundreds of Palestinians later converged on the border, burning tires and throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with tear gas, sound grenades, and Ruger bullets, a small-caliber form of live fire that is less lethal than normal rounds under certain circumstances.

Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza said the protest was intended to raise the pressure on Israel as negotiations over rebuilding the enclave following the May escalation reached an apparent standstill.

Last week, Israel saw the first rocket fire on its southern border since the May battle with Hamas. On Thursday, the United Nations and Qatar announced a deal to allow some Qatari subsidies into Gaza — a key Hamas demand — but an agreement to rebuild the Strip has yet to be achieved.

Israeli Border Police officer Barel Shmueli was critically wounded when a Palestinian man approached a slit in a concrete border wall where he was stationed and shot him at point-blank range. Shmueli was rushed to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where he remains in serious condition.

A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot in the head and critically injured in the events, according to Hamas health officials.

Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanou mourned Adaeej’s death, calling him “a heroic martyr.”

Hamas and other Palestinian factions have announced a similar border protest will take place on Wednesday afternoon near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has deployed troops to the area and strengthened its Iron Dome anti-missile battlements in case of renewed fighting.

Wednesday’s protest “is an extension of the ongoing battle of the Sword of Jerusalem to protect our people and defend our holy sites,” al-Qanou said, using Hamas’s name for the May battle between Israel and the terror group.

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