Bennett Vows to 'Even the Score' After Soldier Wounded on Gaza Border

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Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at a cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at a cabinet meeting on Sunday.Credit: Emil Salman

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel "will even the score" against those who harm its soldiers and citizens, a day after a Border Police officer was critically wounded in Saturday's Gaza border protests.  

Speaking in a government meeting, Bennett said that "the Israel Defense Forces is ready for any scenario."

Border Police officer Bar’el Hadaria Shmueli, 21, was hit through a slit in the border fence on Saturday and later evacuated by helicopter to the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheba. His condition remains critical and that he is sedated and on a ventilator. 

Shmueli's commander said that thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, took part in the clashes and that the military had not yet identified Shmueli's shooter.

Footage of the incident shows Palestinian protesters approaching the border fence, throwing rocks at the officer, with one of them shooting through the slit.

Meanwhile, Palestinian factions in Gaza said that they will continue staging protests along the border fence. "Israel must take responsibility for the delayed reconstruction of Gaza and the blockade.

"The protest is set to continue according to guidelines set by the factions themselves and Israeli aggression will not deter Palestinians from continuing their fight," the factions said in a joint statement.

Israeli fighter jets struck Hamas positions in Gaza Saturday overnight, targeting four weapons storage and manufacturing sites belonging to Hamas. The military also bolstered forces along the Gaza border.

Forty-one Palestinians were wounded in Saturday's clashes as hundreds of Gazan youth flocked to the border. A 13-year-old boy sustained severe injuries and is in critical condition. 

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