No Palestinians said injured in Israeli airstrike in southern Strip; thousands rally at border, attack troops, as boats attempt to break blockade but are driven back by army..
An Israeli military aircraft bombed a Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday after two Palestinian men set off an explosive device near the security fence earlier in the day, the army said.
There were no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries in the airstrike.
“The strike was carried out after two terrorists approached the security fence in the southern Strip and placed an explosive device near the fence,” the army said.
In the evening several thousand Palestinians protested on Gaza’s border with Israel, throwing rocks and firebombs and burning tires, the army said.
IDF troops used tear gas and live fire to beat back the protesters in the northern Strip. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said dozens of Palestinians had been hurt by smoke inhalation and shrapnel, while at least 30 suffered injuries from live fire.
The army also said a flotilla of boats that attempted to breach the blockade on Gaza’s maritime border were driven back by the Israeli navy.
On Sunday, an Israeli aircraft carried out a strike on a group of Palestinians launching incendiary balloons toward Israel from the northern Gaza Strip, the army said.
Also Sunday, four fires sparked by the incendiary devices launched over the border raged in southern Israel, according to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services.
The airstrike and continued arson attacks came after Israel’s high-level security cabinet met for four hours on Sunday afternoon to discuss swirling tensions in Gaza.
The rising border tensions peaked on Friday amid heavy rioting at the fence separating Israel from Gaza. Seven Palestinians were killed, including three who breached the border fence and ran toward IDF soldiers during the chaotic unrest.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a sharp warning to Gaza’s ruling terror group Hamas earlier on Sunday, suggesting Israel could be on the brink of a wide-scale military offensive if violent riots along border fence persisted.
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