Israel bombs Gaza after violent protests along border

Israel Bombs Gaza After Violent Protests Along Border Israel Bombs Gaza After Violent Protests Along Border
Palestinians Israel, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporters

Israel’s military bombed Palestinian militant weapons sites in the Gaza Strip early on Sunday in response to a violent demonstration at the perimeter fence in which an Israeli police officer critically injured, the army said.

Clashes erupted on Saturday after hundreds of Palestinians took part in a demonstration organised by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to draw attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory.

The demonstration grew violent after dozens of people approached the fortified border fence and threw rocks and explosives toward Israeli soldiers from behind a black smoke screen billowing from burning tyres.

A protester pulls a blazing tyre near the fence on the Gaza Strip border with Israel (Adel Hana/AP)

At least 24 Palestinians, including a 13-year-old, were injured by Israeli gunfire, according to the Gaza health ministry. An Israeli Border Police officer was shot and critically injured.


The army said in a statement that, in response to the violent demonstrations, fighter planes hit “four weapons and storage manufacturing sites” belonging to Gaza’s Hamas rulers, and that the military deployed additional troops to the region near the border with the Palestinian enclave.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in the air strikes.

Protesters wave their national flags during a protest near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel (Adel Hana/AP)

Addressing Cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel “will settle the score with those who harm our soldiers and Israeli civilians”, adding that the military is “ready for any scenario”.

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have fought four wars and countless skirmishes since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in a 2007 coup, a year after winning a Palestinian election.

May’s most recent round of fighting, an 11-day war fought to an inconclusive ceasefire, killed at least 254 people in Gaza, including 67 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Hamas has acknowledged the deaths of 80 militants.

Twelve civilians, including two children, were killed in Israel, along with one soldier.

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