• Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:00 am

Fresh Gaza-Israel border unrest injures 20

  • Published at 05:35 pm August 26th, 2021
Israel Gaza
A Palestinian demonstrator raises a national flag during a protest along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 25, 2021 AFP

Hamas security personnel formed a human chain seeking to prevent Palestinians from approaching the border fence

About 20 Palestinians were injured in unrest with Israeli forces at Gaza's border on Wednesday, medical sources said, but the protest was more muted than a weekend demonstration that left dozens wounded.

Israel's army had reinforced its Gaza division following Saturday's border violence, that left an Israeli officer in critical condition from a gunshot wound and killed a 32-year-old Palestinian.

There were indications that Hamas Islamists, who have ruled the Israeli-blockaded strip since 2007, wanted to prevent Wednesday's protest from escalating. 

Hamas security personnel formed a human chain seeking to prevent Palestinians from approaching the border fence, although clashes with Israeli troops erupted when some people broke through the barrier, lobbing grenades and stones at soldiers, an AFP reporter said.

Gaza medical sources said the Israelis fired live rounds in response, causing injuries.

Israel's army said on Twitter that roughly 1,000 "rioters and demonstrators" turned out on Wednesday and that some "hurled explosives and burnt tyres."

Other estimates put the crowd size at 3,000.

Egypt re-opens Gaza crossing

Egypt on Thursday partially re-opened the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip, allowing one-way traffic into Palestinian enclave, as Israel eased import restrictions for the territory it has blockaded since 2007.  

Rafah, Gaza's only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, was shuttered on Monday by Egypt, which gave no reason for the move. 

But it came after Gazans on Saturday staged protests and violet riots along the border with Israel, which killed one Palestinian, left dozens of others injured and an Israeli soldier in critical condition from a gunshot wound. 

Egypt, a key mediator between Israel and the Hamas Islamists who control the coastal enclave, has previously used Rafah closures as a punitive measure against Hamas. 

Late Wednesday, Hamas's interior ministry announced that Rafah would open to incoming traffic on Thursday and to two-way traffic on Sunday. People had begun to cross after midday, an AFP journalist said.  

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