Jerusalem, Sept 13 (EFE).- Five Palestinians were killed and at least 25 were injured by an explosive device in Gaza during a protest that led to clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli forces on Wednesday at the fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
“There are five martyrs and 25 people with various injuries. Medical teams are still carrying out interventions on some of them at the al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, among them are some seriously injured”, said on X (formerly Twitter) spokesperson for the enclave’s Ministry of Health, Ashraf al Qedra
The incident occurred during a demonstration to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the withdrawal of the Israeli colonies from the Strip, in which clashes broke out, reported the Gazan news agency Sanad.
According to a statement by the Israeli army, “in recent hours, hundreds of demostrators participated in violent riots near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip” and “hurled several explosive devices and grenades.”
During the clashes “an attempt by the rioters to launch an explosive device against the soldiers was identified,” said a spokesman for the military.
It did not cross the fence and “detonated inside the territory of the Gaza Strip, injuring several of the rioters” who were in the area of the blast, he added.
Gaza has been under a strict Israeli blockade by land, sea and air since 2007, when the Islamist group Hamas – considered a terrorist by Israel, the US and the EU – seized power in the Palestinian enclave.
Since then, Palestinian militias in Gaza have faced Israel in four wars and dozens of military escalations. The last one in May, when the armed wing of Islamic Jihad clashed with Israeli forces in a fierce five-day conflict that left 34 Palestinians dead in the Strip and two on the Israeli side.
Wednsday’s riot has been the most serious incident in the Gaza border this year.The situation at the fence had been relatively calm, with no major incidents in the area in 2023 except for a few protests in recent months, including one in August, which did not result in any casualties.
The area experienced an intense period of tension between 2018 and 2019, during the weekly marches at the fence, when thousands of Palestinians called for an end to the blockade of Gaza in sustained mobilizations that ended with a high human cost: the Israeli army killed 223 protesters and injured more than 7,000 with live ammunition, according to United Nations data. EFE