Some 5,000 Palestinians protested Friday along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, with some 180 wounded, according to Palestinian reports.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said some 180 demonstrators were wounded in clashes with IDF troops, including several who were hit by live fire. Among the wounded were a ten-year-old boy and a female paramedic, identified as Horouq Abu Masamah, the ministry said.
The IDF had no immediate comment.
he Ynet news site said that a hand-grenade was thrown at IDF troops and that Palestinians also managed to down an IDF drone used to disperse tear gas on the protesters. There were no IDF injuries, Ynet said.
One incendiary balloon sent over the border from the Strip caused a fire near Kibbutz Be’eri. Fire fighters extinguished it before it could spread.
The clashes came despite reports that Israel is in advanced indirect talks with Hamas, via UN and Egyptian mediation, for a long-term truce in the Strip.
Gaza has seen a surge of violence since the start of the “March of Return” protests along the border in March. The clashes, which Gaza’s Hamas rulers have orchestrated, have included rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli soldiers.
Palestinians in Gaza have also launched incendiary airborne devices toward Israel, burning thousands of acres of forest and farmland resulting in millions of shekels of estimated damages.
At least 171 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of the clashes, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. An Israeli soldier was shot to death by a Palestinian sniper. Hamas has acknowledged that dozens of the Palestinian fatalities were members of terror groups.
Additionally, Israel and Hamas have engaged in a number of brief exchanges of fire in recent months that have seen terror groups in Gaza launch hundreds of rockets and mortars toward Israeli territory, including one earlier this month that was the largest flare-up in violence since the 2014 war.
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov and Egyptian officials have been seeking to broker a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas. The two sides have fought three wars since 2008. An Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel, Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007.