The IDF said in response it used force necessary to prevent border breaches by some 13,000 Palestinians who massed at several points near the fence, some of them hurling rocks and fire bombs at troops under cover of smoke from burning tires.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit also said that an attempt to breach the border had been thwarted earlier in the day.
"IDF forces identified nine suspects who crossed the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, which prompted the suspects to immediately retreat,” said the statement.
“Two Hamas outposts were also attacked by an IDF aircraft and a tank in response to a number of grenades and explosive devices thrown at IDF soldiers during the riots along the security fence, which lightly wounded one IDF officer who required medical treatment,” the statement stressed.
The spokesperson concluded the statement by holding Hamas responsible for the ongoing border violence.
“The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for the events in and out of the Gaza Strip. IDF soldiers will continue to thwart attempts to harm Israeli civilians and troops in order to protect the borders of the State of Israel," it said.
Earlier, security forces neutralized an explosive device that was found earlier this week next to the Gaza border.
It is the second explosive device to have been discovered in one week on the border.
Also on Friday, a bunch of balloons were discovered in a children’s playground in Kiryat Gat which were affixed with what appeared to be a combustible thread that did not burn.
Police believe that the balloons were sent from Gaza.
It was the second incident in one day involving incendiary balloons, with several which were connected to an explosive device being found in Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza Strip.
“Hamas continues to try and harm the defensive infrastructure of the security forces along the security fence while using civilians in the strip as shields and as cover for acts of terror,” the IDF said in a statement.
In addition, a pipe bomb was thrown at a group of IDF soldiers overnight Thursday near the Gaza border, prompting the troops to respond with live fire on three Palestinians seen crawling along the security fence.
Earlier on Thursday, IDF soldiers neutralized an explosive device located near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
The string of incidents raise fears among Israelis in the south of a creeping return of tensions on the border, which were reduced in recent weeks as Israel engages in indirect ceasefire talks with Hamas.
Reuters contributed to this report.