The IDF on Sunday morning bombarded Palestinian militant weapons sites in the Gaza Strip in response to a violent protest at the perimeter fence that seriously injured an Israeli policeman, the military said.
Saturday’s violence erupted after hundreds of Palestinians took part in a demonstration organized by Hamas leaders in Gaza to draw attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory. The protest turned violent after dozens of people approached the fortified border fence and threw stones and explosives at Israeli soldiers behind a screen of black smoke billowing from burning tires.
At least 24 Palestinians, including a 13-year-old, were injured by Israeli fire, according to the Gaza health ministry. An Israeli border police officer was seriously injured by gunshot wounds.
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The military said in a statement that in response to the violent protests, fighter jets struck “four weapons manufacturing and storage sites” belonging to Hamas leaders in Gaza, and the military deployed additional troops in the area near the border with the Palestinian enclave. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the airstrikes.
Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies who have waged four wars and countless skirmishes since the Islamic militant group took control of Gaza in a coup in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian elections.
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The most recent round of fighting in May, an 11-day war waged until an unsuccessful ceasefire, killed at least 254 people in Gaza, including 67 children and 39 women, according to the health ministry in Gaza. Gaza. Hamas has acknowledged the deaths of 80 militants. Twelve civilians, including two children, were killed in Israel, along with a soldier.
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