Gaza Authorities Report 46 Wounded in Protests

Israeli army says some 6,500 people participated in protests ■ Seven fires started in Israeli border communities by incendiary balloons

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Palestinian evacuate a wounded demonstrator near Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on June 14, 2019.
Palestinian evacuate a wounded demonstrator near Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on June 14, 2019.Credit: MOHAMMED ABED / AFP

Forty-six Gazans were injured Friday during weekly protests along the border, the Gaza Health Ministry said as firefighters worked to extinguish flames on the Israeli side of the border that were started by incendiary balloons launched from the Strip.

Three paramedics were among those injured during protests in Gaza, the Health Ministry added. 

According to the Israel Defense Forces, about 6,500 Gazans demonstrated with some attempting to damage the fence. The IDF responded by firing tear gas at demonstrators. Three demonstrators reportedly crossed the fence into Israel but returned after being fired at with live ammunition.

Israeli soldiers work to extinguish flames after incendiary balloons were launched from the Strip, June 14, 2019. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkowitz

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At the same time, seven fires broke out in border communities in Israel's south as a result of incendiary balloons launched from the Strip. Firefighting teams worked to put out four fires in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and three in Eshkol Regional Council.

This comes one day after a rocket was fired into Israel from the Strip, hitting a building that was part of a religious school in the southern city of Sderot. The IDF hit targets in the Strip Thursday overnight in retaliation.

The military said in a statement that "several terror targets" were hit, including a military compound used by Hamas' naval force. Earlier reports in Palestinian media indicated the strikes occurred along the Gaza City beach and in the southern city of Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported.

In light of the rising tensions, UN Special Envoy Nickolay Mladenov arrived in Gaza through the Erez crossing Friday morning, according to reports from the southern Strip.