20 boats sail to Israeli naval border in maritime protest

Hundreds riot along Gaza border; IDF responds with tear gas, live fire

AP cameraman among 25 said injured by military as Palestinians throw rocks, explosive toward security fence, Israeli troops on other side

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Palestinians wave their national flags while others burn tires near the fence of Gaza Strip border with Israel during clashes east of Gaza City, on November 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians wave their national flags while others burn tires near the fence of Gaza Strip border with Israel during clashes east of Gaza City, on November 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Hundreds of Palestinians rioted along the northern border of the Gaza Strip Monday, throwing rocks and an explosive device at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the security fence, the army said.

Israeli troops responded with live fire in some cases, injuring 25 people, including an Associated Press cameraman.

A bomb hurled by the Palestinian rioters fell short of the border and caused no injuries, according to a military spokesperson.

In response, Israeli troops launched containers of tear gas and, in some cases, fired live shots at rioters, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, 25 people were injured to varying degrees by Israeli troops.

Among those hurt was journalist Rashed Rashid, who was shot in his left ankle while filming hundreds of Palestinians who were protesting on a beach by the border fence near Beit Lahia, a spokesman for the ministry said.

The cameraman was taken to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

An IDF spokesperson said approximately 800 people participated in the riots along the Gaza border across from the Israeli community of Kibbutz Zikim — a decrease from previous weeks.

In addition, the army said 20 ships set sail from the Palestinian enclave toward Israel in an apparent attempt to break through the naval blockade Israel has in place around Gaza. Israel says the blockade is necessary to keep terror groups in the Strip from obtaining weapons and war materiel.


Monday’s riots came days after a Palestinian was killed and more than a dozen were injured in similar clashes along the border with Israeli troops and a week after a major flareup between Israel and terror groups in the Strip.

Since March, Palestinians have been holding the 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.

One Palestinian was reportedly killed and 14 others were brought to hospitals with injuries.

The clashes come 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 last Monday and Tuesday, according to the Israel Defense Forces — more than twice the rate at which they were launched during the 2014 conflict.

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 after a Hamas-announced ceasefire took effect, though this was not officially confirmed by Israel.

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