Times of Israel and agencies, “Over 40,000 Palestinians took part in protests at the Gaza border Saturday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces said, with some rioters throwing grenades and explosives toward the security fence as well as lobbing rocks at troops and burning tires. The army said soldiers responded with “riot dispersal means” and live fire in accordance with IDF regulations, noting that most Palestinians attending the one-year anniversary of the “March of Return” protests remained at a distance from the border.”
“The coastal enclave’s Hamas-run health ministry said two Palestinians were killed during the protests, while at least 200 were injured. Most of those hurt were lightly wounded, but three were said to be in critical condition. The dead Palestinians were 17-year-old Adham Nidal Sakr Amara, who was apparently shot in the head, and another 17-year-old, Tamer Abu Khair, who was shot in the chest.”
“The Hamas-run interior ministry said it had deployed 8,000 security personnel along the border to prevent demonstrators from approaching the fence, Army Radio reported. Channel 12 said this was the first time in a year that Hamas had acted in this way to keep a check on the protests. But warnings to stay far back from the heavily fortified fence that marks the border were not being heeded by all.”
““We will move towards the borders even if we die,” said Yusef Ziyada, 21, his face painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag. “We are not leaving. We are returning to our land.” Channel 12 news said two boys, aged 8, crossed the border, one of them carrying a knife, and that they were sent back into Gaza. The report said there were no major attempts to breach the fence and the protests were more of the level of some of the weekly Friday protests this past year, rather than the fiercer riots for which the IDF had been braced.”…
“Earlier on Saturday, Gaza health officials said Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man near the perimeter fence, hours before the mass rally to mark the annual Palestinian Land Day and the one-year anniversary of the start of weekly March of Return border protests.
Mohammed Saad, 21, was killed by Israeli army fire east of Gaza City near the perimeter fence, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said, adding he was hit by shrapnel in the head.
A Gaza hospital worker, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said Saad was a member of the so-called “night disturbance unit.” Such groups routinely burn tires, flash laser lights and detonate explosives near the fence at night to distract soldiers and disturb residents of nearby Israeli communities. Witnesses said Saad had been taking part in an overnight demonstration when he was hit. (more…
Times of Israel live blog, “A total of 316 Palestinians have been injured at protests in the border region between Israel and the Gaza Strip during today’s Land Day protests, the Hamas-run health ministry reports. Five Palestinians were critically wounded, the ministry says, adding that most were lightly injured.”