More than 100 Palestinians were reported wounded in violent clashes on Friday afternoon as thousands of demonstrators protested close to the fence, burning tires and throwing rocks at Israeli military positions along the Gaza border, Times of Israel reported.
The violence came despite calls from Hamas leaders and warnings from the IDF to keep the Friday protests peaceful and to stay away from the border fence.
However, Israeli defense officials said it was the quietest protests since the “March of Return” began on March 30. According to their estimations, Hamas may have stationed armed men close to the fence to try to minimize the violence, the Ynet news site reported.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 130 Palestinians were hurt, including 77 hit by live fire.
The IDF said that protesters broke through the fence in three locations before immediately returning to the coastal enclave, with Israeli soldiers opening fire at the suspects in one case.
In addition, an IDF aircraft opened fire at a group of Palestinians launching incendiary balloons at Israel from the southern Gaza Strip, the army said. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the airstrike.