GAZA – At least 37 people were injured by gunfire on Friday during clashes with Israeli forces on the boundary fence between Israel and Gaza in a new round of rallies against the blockade imposed on the strip, official sources announced.
The Palestinian state-run news agency WAFA cited Gaza’s health ministry as saying that six minors were injured by Israeli gunfire. A female paramedic volunteer was injured during the clashes.
“Nearly 10,000 Palestinians gathered in different points near the security fence. They incited violent riots, burned tires and launched explosive devices on the border,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told EFE.
The troops “opened fire according to standard operating procedures,” the spokeswoman added.
In two separate incidents along the boundary, Palestinians tried to gain access to Israeli territory, according to the Israeli military spokeswoman, who added that some of these Palestinians were turned back while others were arrested and interrogated.
The rallies took place although Hamas, which seized control over the strip since 2007, announced earlier this week it had reached an understanding after negotiations with officials from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to ease tensions in Gaza.
However, the Israeli authorities did not confirm the Gazan-Egyptian-Qatari-UN accord and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar Friday denied the existence of a ceasefire agreement with Israel, although Sinwar acknowledged ongoing negotiations.
The tension on the boundary fence increased in the wake of the Great March of Return, weekly rallies that started on March 30 calling for the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their homeland inside what is now Israel.
Since then, over 200 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces.