A group of Palestinians carrying a knife and an ax were arrested Saturday while trying to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The four Palestinians were spotted by security forces as they attempted to breach the security fence along the border in northern Gaza.
“Our troops rushed to the location and arrested the suspects, who were transferred to the security forces for questioning,” the army said.
The IDF did not indicate whether the Palestinians were affiliated with any Gaza-based terror group.
Separately, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza on Saturday announced that a 16-year-old Palestinian died from wounds sustained by IDF gunfire during clashes with Israeli troops the day before.
Palestinian media outlets on Saturday released a video clip which they said showed the incident. (Warning: Graphic content.)
The ministry said Friday that a 17-year-old was also killed and that nearly 400 were wounded in the violent protests.
Around 7,000 Palestinians took part in the weekly clashes.
The Israeli military said demonstrators hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at soldiers, who responded with tear gas and other less-lethal means. Troops fired at Palestinians who attempted to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
The army said it struck two Hamas posts in the Strip. One was attacked in response to a grenade thrown towards troops along the border, while another was hit after protesters damaged military infrastructure.
Balloons with incendiary devices attached were again flown across the border, after being largely absent in recent weeks. Two fires broke out in Israel as a result of the arson attacks.
Friday’s protests were the first since the US announced it was cutting all aid to UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian humanitarian assistance.
Recent weeks have seen far less violence at the border than at the height of the protests some months ago. But Hadashot TV reported that Friday’s demonstrations were expected to be the largest in some time, with Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar saying Israel was showing reluctance to make progress in cease-fire negotiations, and warning of renewed pressure at the rallies.
Earlier Friday, Israeli aircraft opened fire at a group of Palestinians who were trying to send incendiary balloons over the border in the northern Gaza Strip, the military said. Two people were lightly injured, according to reports in Gaza.
There have long been reports of talks on a UN- and Egypt-brokered truce agreement that would end the months-long flareup of hostilities — the most severe since the 2014 war.
The surge of violence in Gaza began in March with a series of protests along the border that were dubbed the “March of Return.” The clashes, which Gaza’s Hamas rulers orchestrated, have included rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli soldiers.
Since the protests began in March, at least 127 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes, according to a tally from The Associated Press. Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members. During that time, a Gaza sniper killed an Israeli soldier.
During the demonstrations, protesters have also launched incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops and killed livestock. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials.