Breaking: Israel Hit By 5 Rockets From The Gaza Strip
Five rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel early Sunday, the Israeli military announced, following a day of mass protests that saw Israeli troops kill four Palestinians near the territory’s border.
The rocket attack threatens to undermine Egyptian-mediated efforts to cement a deal that the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers hope will ease a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockage of the crowded territory.
No casualties were reported and no Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rockets, though they appeared to be in retaliation for the deaths of the protesters.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in the Gaza Strip on Saturday to mark the anniversary of their mass protests along the Israeli border.
Most demonstrators kept their distance from the border, though small crowds of activists approached the perimeter fence and threw stones and explosives toward Israeli troops on the other side. The forces responded with tear gas and opened fire, killing four Palestinians and wounding 64, US News reported.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) put the number of protesters at around 40,000 and said explosive devices, stones and burnt tires were thrown over a wall in the direction of Israeli Military.
The IDF said they responded with “riot dispersal means” including live ammunition.
The teens, both 17, were killed and dozens of protesters were wounded, a Palestinian health official and the Daily Beast reported. They said another man was shot dead by Israeli forces overnight near the border fence.
The protests came on the heels of a week in which rockets were launched from Palestine into Israel and the Israeli military retaliated with bombings of Gaza.
Hamas, the Islamist group prominent in the Gaza Strip, told the BBC it would try to keep Saturday’s protests peaceful and a safe distance from the fence, as Egyptian and UN mediators tried to prevent escalation. Which did not go as planned, obviously.
AP reported that the marches near were initially organized by grassroots activists who were calling for a mass return to ancestral homes in what is now Israel.
Hamas quickly took the lead in the protests, using the gatherings to call for an easing of the blockade.
The border marches routinely ended in confrontations, with some of the Palestinian demonstrators burning tires, hurling fire bombs or setting off explosives and Israeli troops firing live rounds and tear gas.
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