Israel assaults Gaza after violent protests alongside the border | World information
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s military bombed Palestinian militant weapons depots in the Gaza Strip early Sunday in response to a violent demonstration at the fence, in which an Israeli police officer was critically injured, the army said.
The violence on Saturday erupted after hundreds of Palestinians took part in a demonstration organized by Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip to raise awareness of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory. The demonstration turned violent after dozens of people approached the fortified border fence and threw stones and explosives at Israeli soldiers from behind a black curtain of smoke that billowed from burning tires.
At least 24 Palestinians, including a 13-year-old, were injured by Israeli gunfire, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. An Israeli border police officer was shot and seriously injured.
The army said in a statement that in response to the violent demonstrations, warplanes struck “four weapons and storage sites” by Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip and that the military was sending additional troops to the region near the border with the Palestinian enclave. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the air strikes.
Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies who have waged four wars and countless skirmishes since the militant Islamic group took control of Gaza in a 2007 coup, a year after winning a Palestinian election.
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The latest round of fighting in May, an 11-day war that led to an inconclusive ceasefire, killed at least 254 people in Gaza, including 67 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Hamas has admitted the deaths of 80 militants. Twelve civilians, including two children, were killed along with a soldier in Israel.
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