Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
Gaza protesters clash with Israeli forces during a riot at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on August 21, 2021.

Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists led hundreds of Gazans on Saturday afternoon and evening in new violence at the border with Israel.

The mob approached the fence as one on the border with northern Gaza, hurling explosives at IDF forces and trying to climb the fence.

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One Israeli Border Guard officer was shot and critically wounded in the violence. He was evacuated by helicopter to Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Medical Center, a Level One Trauma Center.

The wounded officer had been using a hole in the concrete border wall as a defense position; Gazans hit his gun with a pipe and hurled rocks at it. Several attackers also tried to grab the gun when one rioter stuck a pistol into the hole and opened fire at point-blank range at the Israeli fighter.

“Over the past week the IDF Southern Command has been preparing for riots, increasing readiness and reinforcing troops from Israel’s Border Police (Yamas) and Special Forces to be stationed in the area of the security fence.

“During the riots, approximately hundreds of rioters approached one area of the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip and attempted to climb the fence and hurled explosive devices at IDF troops. IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means, including when necessary live fire.

“In addition, during the riots a number of rioters attempted to steal a soldier’s weapon. The soldier fought the rioters off and successfully prevented his weapon from being stolen. The weapon is in the possession of the soldier.

“The riots lasted about three hours. All the protesters were dispersed,” the IDF added.

The attacks took place despite an agreement made by Israel, Qatar and the United Nations on Thursday to allow the return of monthly cash grants to 100,000 Gaza families. The payments will be funneled through the UN’s World Food Program to ensure the money will not reach the hands of the Iranian-backed terror group.

Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya announced in a statement, “Our mobilizing masses have come to announce that the path of the Sword of Jerusalem is renewed.” The phrase “Sword of Jerusalem” is the name Hamas gave to the 11-day mini-war launched against Israel this past May.

That conflict cost the Gazans at least $290 million in damage, according to report in July by international assessors.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.