A 25-year-old Palestinian was killed and 54 were wounded by Israeli live fire during protests at the Gaza border on Friday, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Four of the wounded were said to be in serious condition, while one was reportedly in critical condition.
The Health Ministry said 312 people were wounded altogether, 100 of whom required hospitalization. The
Israel conducted a number of air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, a military statement said. The statement said that since the afternoon, "over 10,000 rioters have gathered at a number of points along the fence In the Gaza Strip [who are] hurling explosives and grenades, burning tires and throwing stones at IDF troops and the border fence. During these events, a number of attempts to cross the border fence occurred."
The military also said a soldier was lightly wounded, apparently by shrapnel.The Israel Fire and Rescue Services meanwhile said that firefighters had battled six blazes caused by incendiary ballooons and another fire caused by an incendiary kite in areas near the Gaza border throughout the day.
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The army has warned of an increased use in explosive devices and grenades, and estimates that live fire may also be used against Israeli forces. Due to the potential of violent escalation, the army has also prepared for the the possibility that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would respond with rocket and mortar shell fire.
The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, sent a message on Friday to residents of the Gaza Strip urging them not to cooperate with Hamas. He threatened that if the violent protests and “the daily terror attacks continue,” then Israel will reduce the area allowed for fishing off the Gaza shore back to three miles.
Almog Ben Zikri contributed to this report.