Palestinians wounded in Gaza border protest

Rally comes three months after 11-day war between Israel and Gaza ruler Hamas

Palestinian protesters gather near the fence of the Gaza Strip border with Israel during a demonstration. Getty Images
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More than a dozen Palestinians were wounded at the Gaza border on Wednesday in the second protest within days, health officials said, as Israeli forces reportedly shot live fire and teargas at demonstrators.

The rally comes four days after 41 Palestinians and an Israeli sniper were wounded at another demonstration east of Gaza city. A Palestinian man shot during the protest died on Wednesday, while the Israeli police officer remains in a critical condition.

At least 14 people were wounded on Wednesday, five of whom suffered gunshot wounds, Palestinian medics reported.

The Israeli military said it responded with “riot dispersal means” when more than 1,000 people gathered at the fence. Some people “hurled explosive devices and burnt tires”, the army said.

The border rallies recall the “March of Return” demonstrations which drew large crowds to the Gaza fence in 2018 and 2019.

Some 214 Gazans were killed, UN data shows, and more than 8,000 others were shot by the Israeli military.

Those demonstrations began more than a decade into an Israeli blockade of Gaza, under which entry and exit of both people and goods are severely restricted.

Hamas, the group that rules Gaza, has fought four wars with Israel since 2008, most recently an 11-day conflict in May.

A ceasefire which came into force on May 21 has looked increasingly fragile in recent days, with the Israeli military saying it has hit Hamas targets twice since Saturday.

The air strikes follow machinegun fire and incendiary devices being flown over the fence from Gaza, the military said, which have set Israeli land ablaze.

The cross-border violence comes after progress was made last week in channelling Qatari cash to impoverished Gazans.

Qatar had previously funnelled millions of dollars across the border in suitcases filled with cash, but Israel put an end to the practice during the May war.

Under the new agreement, the UN will serve as a mediator for the funds to be transferred to families in Gaza.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: August 26, 2021, 6:08 AM