Israeli military attacks Gaza Strip amid protests at border

At least 22 people have been injured in attacks targeting Hamas’s security outposts in the besieged enclave.

Palestinian demonstrators and medics evacuate a fellow demonstrator during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the Israel-Gaza border fence
Palestinian demonstrators and medics evacuate a fellow demonstrator during clashes near the Israel-Gaza separation fence [Said Khatib/AFP]

The Israeli military has said its forces have conducted air attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip, where protesters have had confrontations for days with Israeli troops along the separation fence.

The military said the drone strikes targeted two military posts belonging to Hamas movement governing the Gaza Strip, while a tank hit another post from which shots were fired on troops confronting protesters.

The Hamas-affiliated radio station Aqsa said two people had been wounded in the strikes.

In al-Maghazi refugee camp, El Sayed said drones had appeared overhead in a matter of minutes, dropping stun grenades and tear gas canisters on the heavily populated area.

Meanwhile, tanks positioned on the border shot artillery shells at the Palestinian enclave, the correspondent said.

“It seems that Israel is responding to the incendiary balloons sent by the protesters across the border,” she said.

The protesters were evacuating the area as a result of the attacks, the reporter added.

At least 22 people have been injured, according to the Ministry of Health.

Israel shut the Beit Hanouna (called “Erez” by Israel) crossing with Gaza last week in advance of the Rosh Hashanah Jewish holiday, preventing thousands of workers from getting to their jobs in Israel and the West Bank. The closure was extended after days of border demonstrations in which Israeli troops opened fire on stone-throwing protesters.

Approximately 18,000 Gaza Palestinians have permits from Israeli authorities to work outside the blockaded enclave, providing a vital injection of cash amounting to some $2m a day to the impoverished territory’s economy.

Demonstrators along the Gaza separation fence have hurled stones as well as improvised explosive devices, while Israeli troops have attacked with tear gas and live fire.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down more than a decade ago, and violence has soared over the past year and a half, with Israel carrying out frequent military raids in the occupied West Bank.

In July, Israel launched one of its biggest attacks on the occupied West Bank, killing at least 12 Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp and wounding at least 100 more.

In response to rockets fired from Gaza after Israel ended its large-scale offensive in Jenin, Israeli fighter jets struck the besieged enclave, drawing condemnation from Iran, Egypt, Jordan and the Arab League, among others.

Friday’s attack on the blockaded strip came shortly after as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly that Israel was “at the cusp” of a historic breakthrough leading to a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview with Fox News this week that the two sides were inching closer to an agreement, without providing much detail about the US-led negotiations.

He declined to specify what exactly the Saudis are seeking for the Palestinians, but said they “could greatly benefit from a broader peace.”

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalised their ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords in September 2020. Since then, they have deepened their relations across a number of economic domains, as well as defence.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies