Thousands of Gazans take part in weekly border protests, rioters attack troops
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Thousands of Gazans take part in weekly border protests, rioters attack troops

Army says soldiers respond to bombs, Molotov cocktails and rocks with riot dispersal measures and in some cases live fire; Palestinians report at least 60 injured

Palestinian rioters stand amid tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces during clashes along the border with Israel east of Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on November 1, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Palestinian rioters stand amid tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces during clashes along the border with Israel east of Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on November 1, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Over 5,000 Palestinians were demonstrating in several locations along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel on Friday afternoon as part of weekly protests, with several hundred rioting.

The army said rioting was taking place, with troops being attacked with improvised explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and rocks. In once instance a military vehicle was hit with a firebomb, but none were hurt.

Soldiers responded with less-lethal means as well as live fire against main instigators, the military said.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported at least 60 people had been wounded in the protests.

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.

Thursday evening saw a rocket launched from Gaza hit an open field in Israel, causing no injuries or damage.

The IDF said a tank and fighter jets subsequently launched retaliatory strikes on two posts in the northern Strip belonging to the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza. The Gaza-based Shehab news agency reported that Israeli security forces had fired at a jeep belonging to operatives in the border area, near Beit Lahia.

Last Thursday, Israeli troops unnecessarily fired at least two Iron Dome interceptor missiles, apparently after misidentifying two rocket launches from the Gaza Strip that were directed out to sea as heading toward Israel. On Sunday, rocket sirens sounded in the community of Kibbutz Erez, just north of the Gaza Strip, in another false alarm.

On Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets shot down a drone that was flying at an “irregular altitude” over Gaza, the IDF said.

Judah Ari Gross and Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.

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