As violence continues to sweep across Israel-Palestine on Friday, protests in Gaza along the border fence turn lethal when IDF units open fire on demonstrators in the besieged territory. At least 14 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since the wave of violence began.
Widespread demonstrations had been expected following Hamas’ call for a “day of rage” in response to the killing and wounding of Palestinians by Israeli security forces, as well as ongoing restrictions at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Hundreds of Gazans gathered near the eastern border with Israel, close to the Shujai’ya neighborhood of Gaza City. The Israeli army began firing at Palestinians with live rounds as the demonstration approached the Israeli-imposed no-go buffer zone along the border fence. According to an Israeli army spokesperson, the fire was in response to Palestinians throwing stones and rolling burning tires towards army positions along the border.
At the same time, a separate demonstration was also taking place near the border fence at Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. It was also reported that hundreds of Gazans attempted to get through Erez Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, but were prevented from reaching the checkpoint by the army.
The Gaza Health Ministry gave the details of those killed as Shadi Hussam Dawla, 20, Ahmad al-Harbawi, 20 and Abed al-Wahidi, 20, who were shot at the protest near Shujai’yah, and Muhammad al-Raqeb, 15, Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20 and Adnan Moussa Abu Elayyan, 22, who were shot at the Khan Younis demonstration.
The heavy death toll has prompted fears among the Israeli military that militant groups in Gaza may respond with rocket fire into Israel. Late Friday evening, two rockets were shot towards Israel from inside the Strip but failed to cross into Israeli territory.
Over 400 Palestinians and two Israelis were wounded on Friday in various attacks across Israel-Palestine. In addition to the Gaza protests clashes broke out across East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which were dispersed forcefully by Israel security forces. On Thursday night, Israelis attempted to lynch several Palestinians in Netanya and later Friday morning four Palestinians were stabbed by an Israeli teenager in Dimona.
An Israeli teenager was stabbed in Jerusalem by a Palestinian assailant, who was shot and arrested. A short while later, a Palestinian stabbed a police officer in the settlement of Kiryat Arba and was shot dead. A Palestinian woman was shot and arrested in Afula Friday afternoon after allegedly trying to stab a security guard.
Confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces were continuing Friday night. Israeli police reported additional disturbances in Kafr Kana, Nazareth and Jerusalem’s Old City [Heb].
There has been a dramatic spike in violence in Israel-Palestine over the last few weeks, with confrontations over the Al-Aqsa compound leading to a spate of “lone-wolf” attacks by Palestinians and heavy-handed, frequently lethal responses from Israeli security forces. Since the wave of violence began, 14 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed.