Over 4,000 Palestinian demonstrators took part in weekly protests Friday along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, with several hundred rioting and clashing with Israeli troops.
Rioters threw rocks and explosive devices at troops who responded with tear gas and live fire.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 49 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes, 21 from live fire.
In once instance video footage appeared to show a smoke grenade going off inside an Israel Defense Forces vehicle during rioting along the border. It was unclear from the footage, filmed from the Palestinian side, who threw the grenade.
The film showed soldiers backing away from the vehicle as smoke billowed out and Palestinians could be seen running toward the border fence, with a number throwing rocks in the direction of the soldiers.
כ-4,500 פלסטינים מפגינים סמוך לגבול רצועת עזה במסגרת הפגנות יום שישי. בתיעוד פלסטיני ניתן לראות ג'יפ צה"ל שנטען כי נפגע בהפגנות מרימון עשן @bokeralmog @LiranHaroni • צפו בתיעוד pic.twitter.com/UDgFXpJtQl
— חדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) October 11, 2019
Since March 2018, Palestinians have been holding 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.
Following last week’s clashes, in which a Palestinian man was killed, two projectiles were fired from Gaza at Israel. The IDF said they fell short of the border and landed in the Hamas-held territory.
Last month, an Egyptian intelligence delegation paid a secret visit to Israel due to fears of a fresh flareup between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip amid the political deadlock in Jerusalem, Channel 13 reported.
The envoys from Cairo met with senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office for the first time since the September 17 elections in Israel, which resulted in no clear winner. Egyptian officials are concerned that the situation in Gaza will once again spiral into violence, and with only a caretaker prime minister governing in Jerusalem, Israel will have a harder time preventing the situation from escalating to a full-blown war.
Egypt has brokered a number of truces between Israel and Hamas in recent years.