Palestinians converged at five separate points along the Gaza border on Friday in violent demonstrations.
By: TPS with World Israel News Staff
IDF forces employed riot control tactics on Saturday to control rioters along the Gaza border who ignited tires, rolling them in the soldiers’ direction, threw stones, and launched incendiary kites and balloons.
A hand grenade and a pipe bomb were also thrown at IDF forces, as well as a kite carrying explosives, which detonated in mid-air.
In total, around 20 fires were caused by firebomb-equipped kites and balloons from Gaza between Friday night and Saturday alone, reported Arutz 7. Affected communities included Kibbutz Nir Am, Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, and Sderot.
An Israeli soldier was wounded by a friendly fire bullet ricochet, and was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center with injuries to his neck and face.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 47 Palestinians were wounded by IDF bullet fire. Five were reported to be in serious condition.
On Thursday, IDF Jets dropped flyers on Gaza Thursday, warning citizens not to attempt to storm or damage the border fence on Friday, a designated by Hamas for rioting.
Protests had been originally planned for Tuesday, June 5, the anniversary of Israel’s victory in the Six Day War, which the Palestinians mark as the Naksa (setback), however, according to reports, Hamas decided to switch the events to Friday, when Iran holds its annual Quds Day event, held since 1979 on the last day of Ramadan in support of the Palestinians.
“Citizens of Gaza, peace be unto you, may you have a blessed month of Ramadan,” the flyer opened, “a wise man is one who takes into account the consequences of his actions in advance and chooses the deed in which the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.”
The IDF warned protesters not to take part in violent riots or to try and cross the border. “Do not to let Hamas use you as pawns for its narrow interests, behind which stands Shiite Iran that has set a goal of igniting the region for its religious and ethnic interests,” the flyer read.
“You should not allow Hamas to turn you into a hostage, so that they gain political capital at the expense of the welfare and future of Gaza’s citizens in general and the young people in particular. To prevent harmful consequences – we urge you not to take part in the riots and the anarchy and not to put yourself in harm’s way,” the flyer concluded.
Over the past two months, Palestinians have held weekly violent demonstrations along the border with Israel.
On May 14, 35,000 Gazans marched on the border to protest the United States Embassy move to Jerusalem, as well as to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba (tragedy) day, the term for the establishment of the State of Israel, which fell on the next day. Over 60 people were killed, and 1,100 more injured. Hamas later admitted that of those killed, 52 belonged to the terrorist organization.