A seventh Palestinian succumbs to his wounds following Friday’s deadly clashes on the Gaza border. Further shootings and attacks into Saturday morning show few signs that the surge in violence is abating.
A total of seven Palestinians have now been killed as a result of IDF fire at protests along the Gaza Strip’s border fence, which took place Friday afternoon. The confrontations killed six and wounded over 130 at the scene, several of whom were in serious condition. One of those, 22-year-old Jihad Salim al-Ubeid, succumbed to his wounds overnight.
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.
On Friday, hundreds of Gazans gathered near the eastern border with Israel, close to the Shujai’ya neighborhood in Gaza City. The Israeli army began firing at Palestinians with live rounds as the demonstration approached the buffer zone along the border fence. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the fire was in response to Palestinian stone throwing, as well as rolling burning tires toward army positions along the border.
The Gaza Health Ministry provided the details of the other six 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. Shortly after that, sirens sounded in southern Israel as an additional rocket from the Gaza Strip fell in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.
The violence and unrest continued throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning. Overnight, demonstrations and violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces were reported in East Jerusalem, Umm al-Fahm, Sakhnin, Kafr Kana, Nazareth and Jerusalem’s Old City [Hebrew links].
In Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, a Palestinian was shot and critically wounded in the early hours of Saturday morning, after reportedly opening fire on Israeli police. He died from his wounds shortly after.
On Saturday morning, two Israelis were stabbed and lightly injured on HaNevi’im Street in Jerusalem, close to Damascus Gate. The attacker, Ishaq Badran, a 16-year-old Palestinian from Kafr Aqab, was shot dead at the scene by Israeli police.
Additionally, protests are reportedly ongoing near Erez Crossing in the Gaza Strip [Hebrew link].
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, 17 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed.