Israeli Soldier Injured at Gaza Protest; IDF Attacks Hamas Posts in Strip

Soldier suffered injury after getting hit by explosive device hurled at him in protest along border ■ 19 Palestinians said wounded

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Palestinian protesters take part in a night demonstration near the fence along the border with Israel, east of Gaza City, on February 11, 2019.
Palestinian protesters take part in a night demonstration near the fence along the border with Israel, east of Gaza City, on February 11, 2019.Credit: AFP

19 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were injured in clashes during a protest that took place on Sunday along Israel's border with Gaza.

The Israeli army said it attacked two Hamas posts in the Strip in retaliation.

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According to the Israel Defense Forces, Palestinians carried out a violent demonstration along the northern part of the Strip, during which protesters set tires on fire and hurled explosive devices toward Israeli soldiers.

The soldier was apparently wounded after an explosive device was thrown at him, and has been evacuated to a hospital to receive further medical care. Shrapnel hit several areas in his neck and he was operated on overnight. As of Monday morning, the soldier is under anesthesia and is in moderate condition.

The Gaza Health Ministry said one of the Palestinians wounded was in serious condition. They were evaucated to different hospitals in the Strip.

Over the past couple of weeks, Palestinians have been rioting during the evening hours. Such protests somewhat decreased several weeks ago as reports on Israeli-Palestinian talks to quell tensions emerged, but recurred when it became clear that no agreement has been reached.

The protests, dubbed by Palestinians "the marches of return," normally take place on a Friday. In the most recent one on Friday 20 Palestinians and one Israeli officer were wounded.

The Israeli army said 11,000 Palestinians came out to protest, with some throwing stones, grenades and other explosives at soldiers. One Palestinian was arrested for trying to cross the border in northern Gaza.

In recent weeks, several thousands of Palestinians participated in the protests and a few dozens have been wounded every week.

According to data in a United Nations report released last month and confirmed by Israeli security officials, 295 Palestinians were killed and about 6,000 wounded by live ammunition since the demonstrations' inception.

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