Thousands of Palestinians Protest at Border, Five Wounded Seriously, Gaza Authorities Say

Palestinians report 122 wounded in protests, including five from live fire, after tense week that saw three instances of rocket fire from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli strikes

Palestinians protest along the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, August 23, 2019.
Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

One hundred and twenty-two Palestinians were wounded, including 50 by live fire, on Friday during protests at the Gaza-Israel border, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Twenty-six of the wounded were said to have been hospitalized, including five in serious condition. 

Palestinian reports said that thousands of demonstrators gathered along the border fence. 

This week's protests come after after a week of tensions that saw three incidents of rocket fire from the Strip and retaliatory airstrikes carried out by the Israeli military. 

>> Read more: With Gaza-Israel Border incidents, Hamas trapped between push for calm and public thirst for resistance | Analysis

The army was preparing for the possibility of escalations along the border but said it was likely that Hamas would be working to control the protests. The army has been instructed to exercise restraint in the use of live fire.

A senior member of the March of Return organizing committee said on Friday they have deployed inspectors in areas of friction to prevent people from approaching the fence. 

The military's Arabic-language spokesman warned Hamas in a Facebook post on Thursday that attacks on Israel by Islamic Jihad were endangering efforts to improve civilian life in the enclave. In his post, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee urged Gaza's rulers to keep violence in check.

Meanwhile, the army said Thursday overnight a Palestinian who was launching grenades at Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza near Israel's border was shot by the force. His condition remains unclear.