Israel Fires Shells at Palestinians Who Crossed Gaza Border Fence, Military Says

Israeli tanks fired shells towards three Palestinians who crossed the Gaza-Israel border fence before returning to Gaza, the Israeli military said Sunday afternoon.  into the Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon, with the military reporting that it was in response to three suspects crossing the border fence between Gaza and Israel.

Palestinian media outlets reported that Israeli tanks had fired seven shells into the Gaza Strip some eight kilometers (about five miles) south of Gaza City.  No injuries were reported.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said three suspects crossed the border fence and then turned around and returned to Gaza. The military added that Israeli troops had not been fired upon. 

>> Hamas hijacked the Gaza protests, which are set to continue for weeks | Analysis >>

Nine Palestinians were killed during demonstrations Friday on the Gaza-Israel border fence, with almost 300 wounded, all by live fire. The total number of dead over the last two weekends has reached 29. The Palestinians reported that all of Friday’s fatalities were civilians and that one was a journalist. Israel hasn’t yet released information linking casualties to the armed wings of Hamas and other groups.

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Israeli defense officials are worried that a war of attrition may develop along the border amid attempts to breach the fence and damage the equipment building Israel’s barrier against the tunnels leading from Gaza. 

The military therefore intends to react forcefully, using airstrikes against Hamas military targets if attempts to damage the fence on the Gaza border continue during the mass demonstrations there.