Palestinians detonate large explosive on Gaza border in latest rioting

IDF says troops responded with crowd dispersal means and sniper fire against rioters on security barrier

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

Palestinians detonate a large explosive device on the Gaza border, September 5, 2023. (Screenshot: X)
Palestinians detonate a large explosive device on the Gaza border, September 5, 2023. (Screenshot: X)

Dozens of Palestinians rioted in the Gaza Strip on the border with Israel on Tuesday afternoon, setting off a large explosive device, footage showed.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that troops responded with crowd dispersal means against the rioters, as well as sniper fire in some cases.

The IDF said the dozens of rioters set off a number of explosives and hurled grenades at the border barrier in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

No soldiers were hurt, the IDF said in a statement. There were no reports of injuries on the Palestinian side either.

In footage shared by Palestinian media outlets, a large explosive device could be seen being detonated on the fence. Another clip shared online, apparently from the IDF’s thermal cameras, showed the blast from the Israeli side of the border.

A military spokesperson told The Times of Israel that the IDF did not officially issue the footage, indicating it was leaked.

The rioting Tuesday comes after hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip violently protested on the border on Friday, hurling explosive devices and attempting to break through the security barrier. Nine Palestinians were reported wounded by Israeli fire in those riots.

The recent riots followed a report on Thursday claiming that the Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip, was considering a resumption of regular protest marches along the border and other activities against Israel.

Weekly protests along the frontier began at the end of March 2018 and continued almost every Friday until the end of 2019, with the demand that Israel lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave and a callfor the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to lands that are now a part of the Jewish state.

Israel says its blockade of Gaza is necessary to prevent Hamas from freely arming itself for war and attacks.

Palestinian rioters clash with Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border, September 1, 2023. (Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

The weekly protests on the border in 2018 and 2019 frequently involved violence, including the hurling of explosives, rocks and firebombs at IDF soldiers, as well as attempts to storm and sabotage the border fence, and in some cases live fire toward Israeli soldiers. Troops often responded with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas, as well as live fire. More than 200 Palestinians were killed at the demonstrations and thousands were injured.

In addition, Palestinians regularly flew helium balloons into Israel carrying explosives and incendiary devices, sparking fires that destroyed large swaths of foliage.

While Hamas is said to now consider resuming the ”Marches of Return,” as they came to be known, no official statement has yet been published by the terror group on its future plans.

Gianluca Pacchiani contributed to this report.

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