Gaza City, Palestinian Territories – The Israeli army said it launched new drone strikes on the Gaza Strip Sunday targeting “two military posts” of the Islamist group Hamas after a protest by Palestinians turned violent.
The latest strikes are among a series that have come amid near-daily demonstrations at the border by Palestinians after Israel closed the Erez crossing from Gaza.
The Israeli army “struck two military posts belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation” in the Bureij and Jabalya areas where “violent riots” were taking place, the army said in a statement.
“An explosive device was hurled from the centre of Bureij toward soldiers, adjacent to the security border in the Gaza Strip,” it said, adding that the troops did not suffer any injuries.
The Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza said that five Palestinians had been injured “by Israeli bullets” during a demonstration along the border.
Gaza has been rocked by daily protests since Israeli authorities closed the Erez Crossing, the only gateway for pedestrians entering Israel from the coastal enclave.
Protesters have often resorted to burning tyres, throwing stones and petrol bombs at Israeli troops, who have responded with tear gas and live bullets.
Thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza have been prevented from entering Israel by the closure of the crossing, which an Israeli NGO, Gisha, condemned as “collective punishment”.
Israel has issued work permits to some 18,500 Gazans, COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, told AFP on Tuesday.
Since September 13, six Palestinians have been killed and dozens wounded during violence at the border, according to figures from the health ministry in Gaza.
Israel has imposed an air, land and sea blockade on the impoverished Palestinian enclave ever since the Islamist group Hamas seized control in 2007.
Armed conflict sporadically erupts between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip.
In May, an exchange of Israeli air strikes and Gaza rocket fire resulted in the deaths of 34 Palestinians and one Israeli.