(Gaza) Around 40 Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire on Saturday, including a seriously injured child, when they demonstrated in front of the barrier separating the Hebrew state from the Gaza Strip, according to local authorities, with Israel reporting one seriously injured in its ranks.
Posted on Aug 21, 2021 at 2:18 pm Updated at 3:56 pm
Exactly three months after a ceasefire that ended a day of war between Israel and Hamas in power in the blocked Palestinian enclave, Israeli soldiers opened fire on crowds of young demonstrators throwing incendiary devices and attempting to climb the Israeli barrier.
“41 civilians were injured,” said the Gaza Ministry of Health, including a 13-year-old child in critical condition after being shot in the head. According to Hamas, “thousands” of people took part in the protests.
For its part, the Israeli army reported that a police officer was “seriously injured” by gunfire from Gaza.
The Israeli army told the AFP news agency that “several hundred rioters” tried to break through the barrier by throwing “explosive projectiles”.
The army used tear gas when protesters burned tires.
Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on television that these were “extremely serious events that will trigger a response”.
The protesters followed a call by Hamas to mark the 52nd anniversary of the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, in Jerusalem.
“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line. Our people will vigorously resist any attack aimed at them, ”Hamas said in a statement.
Israel and Hamas waged an eleven-day war in May following the crackdown on protests in east Jerusalem, including the esplanade of mosques where the Al-Aqsa mosque is located.
The estimated two million Palestinians who have lived in the impoverished and blocked Israeli enclave for nearly 15 years are still waiting for Gaza to be rebuilt after the Israeli bombings in May.
While Israel has blocked tens of millions of dollars in Qatari aid to the Gaza Strip since May, the Hebrew state announced on Thursday a new system for distributing this money, which is now to be carried out through the UN.
On Monday, a rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel for the first time since the ceasefire.
Starting in March 2018, weekly rallies took place in Gaza for more than a year to call for an end to the blockade and the “right of return” of the Palestinians who were forced into exile during the founding of Israel in 1948. 350 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers.