Israeli officer lightly hurt by explosive device on Gaza border
Medical sources in the coastal enclave say at least 20 Palestinians were wounded by IDF fire as some 11,000 protesters take part in a weekly demonstration along the frontier with Israel; earlier, a cluster of suspicious airborne devices landed in southern city of Netivot.
The officer, from the Border Police undercover unit, was taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. At least 20 Palestinians are reported to have also been wounded by IDF fire, according to the medical sources in Gaza.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the demonstrators hurled “stones, explosive devices and grenades” at the troops operating near the fence. The spokesperson added that soldiers used riot dispersal equipment and opened fired “in accordance with standard operating procedures.”
The Palestinians also set alight tires and launched incendiary balloons in several locations along the frontier with Israel. The IDF troops also arrested an unarmed Palestinian man who breached the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip. He was taken by Israeli security forces for further questioning.
Earlier on Friday, a cluster of balloons with a suspicious device attached to it was located in the southern city of Netivot. Police sappers were called to the scene. There were no reports of casualties or damage. The police called on the public to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious devices they come across and leave the area at once.
On Wednesday, a joint statement by all of Gaza’s militant groups was released, warning that clashes at the Gaza border, which take place every Friday, could this week lead to an escalation in violence.
The organizations “will not allow Israel to keep harming protesters during the March of Return peaceful rallies,” they said in a statement. “The Zionist enemy is responsible for any kind of harm to the rights of the Palestinian people,” the statement added. “All signs point to a nearing clash, we won’t accept the fact that our people are starving and thirsty.”