Several hundred Palestinians were injured in Gaza on Friday, as the sixth consecutive week of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests attracted some 10,000 participants., i-24 reported.
Authorities said 431 injuries were the result of live ammunition and gas inhalation, as protesters gathered at six points along the Gaza-Israel border. At least 43 Palestinian rioters have been killed in the last month since the violent protests began.
Israeli officials said the riots have been organized by Hamas — the Islamist group that controls Gaza and is sworn to Israel‘s destruction — to provide cover for attacks, and that most of the dead were members of terror organizations, Algemeiner reported.
Visiting the Middle East earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lent his support to Israel‘s handling of the border riots.
“We do believe the Israelis have a right to defend themselves,” he said.
The Israeli military said “violent riots” had broken out in five locations and protesters were burning tires and throwing stones. The military also said that several men were damaging pipes that carry gas and fuel into the Strip from Israel near the Kerem Shalom crossing, according to i24. On two occasions rioters attempted to damage the security fence and enter Israel until Israeli soldiers intervened.
At a protest camp near the border, a 32-year-old man wearing a camouflage hat with his face masked, a traditional keffiyeh scarf around his neck, said they hoped to fly around 50 kites.
“We hope to return back to our land, which is occupied,” said the man who declined to give his name. “I’m not afraid, only of Allah.”
“Rioters are flying kites with burning items, intending to ignite fires in Israel,” the Israel Defense Forces announced on Twitter. “Also, rioters hurled an explosive device at IDF troops who are responding with riot dispersal means & fire in accordance with the rules of engagement”, USA Today learned.