An estimated 10,000 Gazans rioted at five different locations on the border with Israel, as of 5 PM on Friday, The Times of Israel reported. Though the violence was reported to be “low-level,” prior to the riots, kites carrying a threat to “slaughter” Jews appeared on social media.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claimed that 386 people had been injured; mostly from inhaling tear gas.
Though the IDF mostly used tear gas to control the crowd, in one case it fired on rioters attempting to breach the border fence. The infiltrators abandoned their effort.
According to Arabic media reports, the IDF used drones to set a pile of tires on fire earlier in the day, so they would be unavailable to obscure potential infiltrators later in the day.
Earlier in the day, pictures circulated on social media of kites being prepared for the riots bearing notes with the message, “Sons of the Judaism. Leave our land or we will slaughter you.”
הכנת עפיפוני תבערה בעזה עם כרוזים בעברית. pic.twitter.com/j8MQRTpXp0
— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) June 8, 2018
Israel had firefighters ready, as well as volunteers to try to prevent the infiltration of “fire kites,” — kites that carry flammable liquids that are lit on fire. Hamas has been using fire kites, attempting to get them over the fence and start fires inside Israel.
Israel said that some 500 of the fire kites have been intercepted by drones so far. One drone crashed in Gaza, apparently after getting entangled in a kite.
A kite apparently carrying a bomb exploded. The IDF also reported that Gazans have thrown a grenade and a pipe bomb in the course of the riots.
[Photo: TV7 Israel News / YouTube ]