Thousands of Palestinians once again descended on the Israeli-Gazan border on Friday for the latest showdown with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Israeli forces responded with live fire as rioters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails and also sent incendiary balloons across the fence which sparked at least 15 fires in Israel, the Times of Israel reports.
The protesters also managed to take down an Israeli surveillance drone that was trying to map out their location and movements. An online video, yet to be verified, showed a small UAV being taken down by what appears to be a slingshot. Previously, the Israeli forces used drones to drop tear gas on Palestinians at the border.
The IDF confirmed the loss of their drone, noting that “there is no fear of leakage of information.” Meanwhile, the IDF pushed back against “extremely violent riots”, tackling the Palestinians with “large amounts of riot dispersal means,” including live fire.
Two people, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed during Friday’s protests at five points along the border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Another 310 were injured in exchanges with the IDF, many of whom suffered tear gas poisoning.
Palestinians have been protesting near their border with Israel since spring, denouncing Israeli occupation and the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and demanding the right to return to the areas they were expelled from in 1948, after Israel was established. Claiming its right to defend the border by all means necessary, the Israeli forces have killed at least 134 and injured around 14,000 people, in a violent crackdown that continues to draw international condemnation.